Monsters & Manuals: "TRPBTNTWAs" coat-tails post

Once again it is time for me to ride on someone else’s coat-tails by posting a follow-up to something THEY posted on THEIR blog to my blog. Call it a ‘tribute’ or ‘having an ear for the zeitgeist’ if you like me and ‘attention whoring and me-tooism’ if you hate me.

Noisms at “Monsters & Manuals”
posted a list of questions he thinks don’t get enough traction. He calls them “TRPBTNTWAs, or, Things Role Playing Bloggers Tend Not To Write About”

Here they are (with my answers):

Book binding. (I can’t be the only person who bemoans the way new rulebooks tend to fall apart like a sheaf of dry leaves after about 5 seconds of use).

I hate to be such a predictable snooty “I played D&D back in the day when it was still cool” shit head, but, well, I guess you can’t fight your own nature. My AD&D PHB, Monster Manual and DMG (which are 30+ years old I guess) are totally trashed from use, but the pages are still in them. I hate ‘perfect bound’ stuff, because when teenage me wanted to read the names of all of the different polearms or rub one off over the succubus, I wanted to lay the book out flat. Do that with one of these ‘perfect bound’ books and the glue cracks and the pages fall out.
Currently my position is that no role playing game book should be so long as to require binding beyond staples (like an old fashioned honest-to-god comic book). If you need more pages than a comic book binding can handle, your book is too long… unless your book is ‘Exquisite Corpses,’ in which case it is a spiral bound work of genius.

“Doing a voice”. How many people “do voices”? Should they? How do you get better at “doing a voice” if that’s your thing?

I only do voices for comedic effect because I am a shitty actor and too self conscious to try to seriously play the part. Fake English accents are horrible. I once did a politically very incorrect rug merchant NPC simply by trying to do an imitation of that Indian guy from the Simpsons. My favorite NPC was a goblin who had been hired on by the party as a guide. I just imitated ‘Borat.’

Breaks. How often do you have breaks within sessions?

As needed. It’s been a while since I have been able to attend, so

  • Description. Exactly how florid are your descriptions?
  • Where do you strike the balance between “doing what your character would do” and “acting like a dickhead”?
  • PC-on-PC violence. Do your players tend to avoid it, or do you ban it? Or does anything go?
  • How do you explain what a role playing game is to a stranger who is also a non-player? (Real life example: my friends and I were playing in the local M:tG club space. A M:tG groupie teenage goth girl came over and asked, “What are you playing?” “[We answered.]” “Sounds kind of gay.”)
  • Alchohol at the table?
  • What’s acceptable to do to a PC whose player is absent from the session? Is whatever happens their fault for not being there, or are there some limits?


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