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D&D General Has online play changed your DM style?


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Aldarc

Legend
Sure thing, especially as that DM has already posted in this thread!

@iserith posted transcripts of his Summer at the Lake play by post campaign on the old WotC forums (may they rest in peace).

I quickly noticed that when he would present a scenario he would ask one player "What do you do?" after resolving that players approach he would sum up the consequences, re-frame the scenario, and ask another player "What do you do?"

I immediately noticed the difference to my gaming style which was present the scenario then look around hoping player 1 would get of their phone and players 2 and 3 would quick having a side conversation and player 4 would stop just waiting for combat to interact, etc.

The pbp campaign just seemed so smooth by comparison.

So I decided to give it a shot. Within just a couple sessions player engagement shot through the roof. Everyone knew I was going to ask them individually "What do you do?" so they started to spend the other character's turns (and I don't mean combat turns, just their turn in the spotlight) coming up with something to do.

In addition spotlight was now being evenly spread across all players, no longer could the one with the biggest personality hog most of the time. I didn't even know that would happen, so bonus.

I've kept it up ever since then.
This is almost verbatim how Powered by the Apocalypse games (e.g., Dungeon World) approach GM scene framing for players. "X happens. What do you do?" This sets up a change in the fiction. The GM again says, "Okay because of X, Y happens. What do you do?"
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
This is almost verbatim how Powered by the Apocalypse games (e.g., Dungeon World) approach GM scene framing for players. "X happens. What do you do?" This sets up a change in the fiction. The GM again says, "Okay because of X, Y happens. What do you do?"

D&D 5e is the same: DM describes the environment. The players describe what they want to do. The DM narrates the results of the adventurers' actions. Repeat.
 

Aldarc

Legend
D&D 5e is the same: DM describes the environment. The players describe what they want to do. The DM narrates the results of the adventurers' actions. Repeat.
IMHO, you're downplaying the difference between the games. Have you played Dungeon World or any of the PBtA games before? Because I really don't want to get into yet another pissing contest of "anything X game can do, 5e can do better (or the same)."
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
IMHO, you're downplaying the difference between the games. Have you played Dungeon World or any of the PBtA games before? Because I really don't want to get into yet another pissing contest of "anything X game can do, 5e can do better (or the same)."

What I stated was a fact found right in the Introduction of the PHB, not an invitation to a contest of the sort you mention.

I'm very familiar with the PBtA games, particularly Apocalypse World and Dungeon World. (My name is even in the Dungeon World book.) The games are different. What BookBarbarian took away from my transcripts is right in the D&D 5e PHB though. It's in the part that a lot of people, particularly experienced DMs and players, in my experience don't read or don't take a seriously as, say, the combat rules. But it's very important in my view being the fundamental structure of the conversation of the game.
 

Aldarc

Legend
What I stated was a fact found right in the Introduction of the PHB, not an invitation to a contest of the sort you mention.
Except it's not. BookBarbarian's big takeaway that he received from your posts, the intentional "what do you do?" framing by the GM is utterly absent in the introductory section of the 5e PHB that you speak about. Given your familiarity with PbtA and DW, it's probable then that you are eisegeting (or presuming) this assumption into the 5e framework. Either way, I would recommend taking a closer look.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Except it's not. BookBarbarian's big takeaway that he received from your posts, the intentional "what do you do?" framing by the GM is utterly absent in the introductory section of the 5e PHB that you speak about. Given your familiarity with PbtA and DW, it's probable then that you are eisegeting (or presuming) this assumption into the 5e framework. Either way, I would recommend taking a closer look.

What I stated in this post is right in the Introduction of the PHB. Please try to avoid making an argument where one does not exist.

As for "What do you do?" I would say that prompting the players to respond to a description of the environment is hardly an innovation of any game, but rather simple human communication, the part of the conversation where you ask for feedback. The part that I referenced above is the same in both games: DM says something, players respond, DM says something about how that goes, repeat.
 

Aldarc

Legend
What I stated in this post is right in the Introduction of the PHB. Please try to avoid making an argument where one does not exist.
What I stated in my initial post was about the "what do you do?" framing and then you proclaimed in your response that it was the same in 5e, though it's not.

As for "What do you do?" I would say that prompting the players to respond to a description of the environment is hardly an innovation of any game, but rather simple human communication, the part of the conversation where you ask for feedback. The part that I referenced above is the same in both games: DM says something, players respond, DM says something about how that goes, repeat.
I am not proclaiming this an innovation. I am saying that it is a common feature and part of PbtA games in how they frame scenes. That said, this was apparently enough of an innovation that BookBarbarian had not considered using it before they saw your play posts.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Your responses are incongruous with someone who also says "I really don't want to get into yet another pissing contest." Or perhaps you do, just not about the specific contest you reference above?

What I stated in my initial post was about the "what do you do?" framing and then you proclaimed in your response that it was the same in 5e, though it's not.

Your post was about more than "What do you do?" as it included what the DM and players say and when. My observation in the subsequent post is that this "scene framing" is the same in D&D 5e. "What do you do?" is just letting the players know it's their turn to add input to the game. You are correct that those specific 4 words are absent the Introduction, but I didn't make that claim in the first place. My post is about what the DM and players say and when.

I am not proclaiming this an innovation. I am saying that it is a common feature and part of PbtA games in how they frame scenes. That said, this was apparently enough of an innovation that BookBarbarian had not considered using it before they saw your play posts.

Yes, it's a common feature of many games that people use words to talk to each other and prompt responses.
 

Aldarc

Legend
Your responses are incongruous with someone who also says "I really don't want to get into yet another pissing contest." Or perhaps you do, just not about the specific contest you reference above?
I have not tried to start anything, though that has not stopped you from insinuating bad faith on my part. I was initially telling BookBarbarian (or at least trying to do so) that the "what do you do?" framing he talked about is a major part for how PbtA games are run, because I found that an interesting point of comparison. So please let me know how that is me trying to start a pissing contest. Perhaps you should take a step away from this for awhile so you are less likely to construe hostility where there is none?

Your post was about more than "What do you do?" as it included what the DM and players say and when.
I suspect that I know what my post was about probably better than you do, and my post was about the "what do you do?" framing that BookBarbarian talked about in his post. ;)

Yes, it's a common feature of many games that people use words to talk to each other and prompt responses.
Come on, this glibness is being disingenuous. You know that this isn't the point I was making. It's sidestepping using "what do you do?" as an intentional part of GM framing rather than just a conversational happenstance. I'm not sure why this is something you would want to downplay since this is something that BookBarbarian found laudable about what you did.
 

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