To recap or not to recap

Poll: Do you recap the story so far at the beginning of your session?

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  1. #1
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    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)



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    To recap or not to recap

    So I hijacked another thread and thought this was interesting enough to have its own thread.

    Do you recap the story so far (in some way or other) at the beginning of your sessions?

  2. #2
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    Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)



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    Currently with tabletop games I do "very short reminder" if the PCs are mid adventure. When I was running megadungeon game or sandbox games I don't recall saying anything.

  3. #3
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    Pit Fiend (Lvl 26)

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    I run two groups every other week, so I recap what has gone on more often just for my own edification, because oftentimes my players will fill in small points that I had forgotten (since I usually do a poor job of writing down stuff I've improvised in the moment.)

  4. #4
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    Superhero (Lvl 15)



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    It varies from group to group. My preference would be for "let the players do the recap and remind them of bits they forget," but some of my groups are pretty lax on the note-taking, so I do the recap for them.

  5. #5
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    Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)



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    I have ten players who split the party quite often. When we are all together I have them roleplay and tell stories of what they have done while being separate from one another. They can be as secretive and truthful as they wish to be.

    To this I add bits of news about things they did not do or ignored. This gives the area they are in and the rest of the game world a feeling of being alive.

  6. #6
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    Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)



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    I generally let one of the players give a recap to anyone that needs it, with the occasional prompt or addition from me.

    At my home group, I always used to write up adventure summaries from the prior session. With this latest campaign, one of the new players took those duties over. You'd think no one would need a recap, that they could just read those...but that's not the case. But I don't mind - in a lot of ways, those recaps are for me. I wish I had accounts of past adventures like that, but I didn't start the habit until the 4e era.

  7. #7
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    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)



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    I think of my recaps as if the game were a serialized TV-show. A Previously, on Dungeons and Dragons... give a brief reminder of the overall story and the major plot details. If necessary, reiterate any details that occurred in previous sessions that might not have seemed important at the time but are about to become directly relevant in this session. Finish up by posing the key dramatic question for this session (e.g. will our heroes be able to escape the perilous goblin caves? or whatever.) Provided it fits the tone of the campaign, it can be a lot of fun to write up a recap as if it were an actual TV serial recap. In my Curse of Strahd campaign, which was pretty lighthearted in tone despite its dark themes, I straight-up did my recaps in the style and voice of Dragon Ball Z.
    Last edited by Charlaquin; Thursday, 18th April, 2019 at 05:10 PM.
    XP DM Dave1, MNblockhead, Bupp gave XP for this post

  8. #8
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    Titan (Lvl 27)



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    I ask the players to recall the events of last session and I fill in the blanks with details that may be relevant in the current session. A player tends to add a detail then another builds on that. This is a form of warm-up improvisational exercise ("Yes, and...") that gets the players in the habit of accepting offers from other players and building on them instead of negating or denying. This sets the stage for the rest of the session where the players generally continue the same approach which makes everything run smoothly and quickly.

  9. #9
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    Greater Elemental (Lvl 23)

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    I often do recaps, and my players like them. My recap usually includes things from earlier sessions that have bearing on what's happening now (like : The Mummy Queen escaped back in the catacombs of Xyzzy, and the trapped hieroglyphs you have seen about are of her style), and a quick overview of the previous session that leads directly into the opening scene.

  10. #10
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    Magsman (Lvl 14)

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    I started having the players recap after seeing a Matt Coville YouTube, but last night was my father looking at the combat sheet and saying, "Ghouls, and a big Demon." This was after not playing this group for 2 months. My son quites in with a few more details and it was fine, but the recap as a whole now has me thinking.

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