To recap or not to recap

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

  • I have one keen player who does a recap for the others

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • What is a recap?

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    58

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
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?
 

S'mon

Legend
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.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
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.)
 

jayoungr

Adventurer
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.
 

Draegn

Explorer
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.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
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.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
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.
 
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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
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.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
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.
 

aco175

Explorer
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.
 

akr71

Explorer
One group (my family) plays weekly (ish) and I just say "So, we left off ___ and you were going to ___. Does that sound right?"

My other group plays monthly, at best and I give a more detailed recap.
 

Bawylie

A very OK person
Yeah I recap. A lot of times I’ll put something “wrong” in there too. At which point the players jump straight in and finish the recap.
 
I

Immortal Sun

Guest
I do a short recap reminding the players of where they are, what their immediate quest was, and what the general story has been so far.

Generally along the lines of "LAST TIME ON DRAGONBALL Z!" Because while I read the Angry GM post about recaps as [MENTION=6801558]robus[/MENTION] linked me and much of that is more or less what I already do, I just enjoy being dramatic.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
In my game, we have a shared page where I publish bullet point style recaps, along with an intro checklist of meta-data (date played, who was there, character advancement total, and in-game dates covered.

Always invite them to add more.

Sometime detailed lists added like "loot haul" or an "aftermath summary."

So, that info is up for them to see for the between session time.

I recently added a "high spots" tab where each player is encouraged to point out a particular thing that was of special note to them in the session, with wide latitude to how they define it. I plan to use that as a sort of "spotlight" on stuff I see they had strong interest in.

If it ended with them heading into a new town or place, I try and post some "big picture" nuts and bolts stuff, maybe even maps, that we can all use as reference next session.

But the st table recap is flimsy at best. Our face to face time is limited and precious so unless there us an obvious need, we mostly just jump right in after a quick description of where we are.
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
One of the players, not always the same one, writes an adventure log each session as they go though it. Then each week we re-read last week's entry to refresh memories. I don't add in what they missed or foolishly didn't record since the writer apparently didn't think it was important. Its fun and gets everyone mostly up to speed and refreshes the moments of player foolishness or glory from the prior week.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I give the players at the table a chance to recap, filling in anything they missed I think others would know. If no one can give a recap, I do it.

I also do a quick write-up and post it online so I can look back 6 months later and remember what the heck we were doing.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
My group has 4 DMs, with 1 regular, 2 irregular, and 1 waiting in the wings (for when he gets his Midgard game running). In addition, most of us play in other games as well, so a recap is kinda necessary to keep everything straight!
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
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.
I do a full story recap (with art and photos) after each session. Been doing it for years now, I started in an old Cthulhu campaign and it worked so well I just kept on doing it. I've probably written 300+ by now over the years. One incentive was to keep everyone on the same page. Another one was to remind myself of stories and details from years past. Sometimes my old players will mention something from our 2e or 3e days, and it doesn't ring a bell at all, I have no recollection of it happening. But if i had written it down I would have remembered!
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I do a recap but it is short. The main point is not so much to remind them of everything that happened in the game so far, but it is a good way to get people into the game. It is the transition from settling in and socializing to "what do you do?"
 

Bupp

Explorer
I do a "When we last left our heroes..." followed by a few sentence summary. The players usually throw in comments of their own before I start in.
 

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