September 24, 2013
Gaming Outside Of The Game
Gaming is not limited only to the game table, and it is a good thing to. Dedicated (read: mildly obsessed) gamers like myself would go insane if we were limited only to that when trying to sate our need for role-playing. One outlet for gaming I was introduced by a friend of mine was having “in-game” character discussions over Facebook. This way, you are not taking up the table-time of your other players with excessive table-talk, you get to play out conversations that would likely occur between your characters, and everybody wins. Earlier I discussed what to do when you have characters – not players – that are having a disagreement. Having a smaller game dialogue only between these two players over chat is a near perfect way of handling that.
Now, there are a few things to consider when you are doing this. The first one is that you will likely not have your Gamemaster present for this little “mini-game,” so you cannot do anything that will drastically change the narrative of the game. Basically, do not to anything that might have consequences that stretch beyond how your characters relate to one another. This is why it is best to stick to simple conversation, for the most part. Having your characters talk at a tavern over drinks, or while in bed together, or wherever they might have a moment to themselves to discuss their differences, or whatever they wish to talk to each other about, works.
Next, do not dominate the conversation. This sort of gaming needs, by its very nature, to be an exchange between the player characters. This means that you need to respond to whatever the other player has posted, make your point, then give the other player a lead in. Short, two or three sentence bits of dialogue work best. Think of it like writing a comic book. If one character is doing all of the talking, their speech bubble tends to take over much of the panel or they are the focus of panel after panel after panel all the while the other character is just sitting there. Do not dominate the spotlight. Share it. Let the other player get in just as much as you.
Be sure that you differentiate between what is being said in character and what is out of character, between the two players. The way I have shown my group is that anything said in character is written like you would in a book. My character says, “I do not know why we are seeking to dethrone the king.” While everything said out of character is kept within brackets, such as ((my character is clearly troubled by this)) or ((I will be right back, going to get a drink)). What you say out of game is just as important as what is said in game, either for conversation purposes, as it can be very hard to relate emotions over a purely text format, or simply out of courteous as in the “I am going to get a drink.” This lets them know why you might not respond to their previous post for a few minutes, and waiting for that can sometimes be irritating.
Finally, I know a lot of gaming groups have Facebook pages regarding their game. If you do, then it is a good idea to post your character conversations to the group so that the rest of the group, the Gamemaster in particular, is aware of what has happened in the continuity. Sure, in character, some of the others might not know about it, and if you really want to keep them in the dark, you can just send it to the Gamemaster, but I do not really see the need for this in most game. Who knows, maybe your Gamemaster might even reward you with a little extra experience for your efforts? I usually do.
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