Recorded D&D Sessions

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So, here's a session at my table. 3 hours long.

Also, NOT SAFE FOR WORK. 

Expect a little bit of everything from just cussing for no reason to perhaps some very derogatory words and perhaps even a quick racial slur (that night was a blur, I don't really remember). Also, sometimes we go off on tangents and stray from the game a bit, but please hang with it. We don't get to meet up very often so we also kind of use the game as a social time where we talk about whatever.

dl.dropbox.com/u/109124404/20120927_0246...
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
I got Error 403 when I tried it.
Damn it.

I'm not familiar with dropbox...how do I make the link work for everyone? 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Damn it.

I'm not familiar with dropbox...how do I make the link work for everyone? 



Put the file in the "Public" folder of your Dropbox. Right click, Dropbox > Copy Public Link. Then paste here.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Try now guys.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Yea, that's downloading now. 
Cool. Thanks guys. Let the criticisms, harsh accusations, insults, and comments commence!
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Cool. Thanks guys. Let the criticisms, harsh accusations, insults, and comments commence!



Can I do that before I listen?

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Cool. Thanks guys. Let the criticisms, harsh accusations, insults, and comments commence!



Can I do that before I listen?



I expect nothing less and would probably lose respect for you if you didn't.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Btw, once enough people have listened to the session all the way through, I'll give you an idea of where I originally wanted/expected the adventure to go, and I'll give you a quick recap of the last 2 sessions and how the players managed to completely alter/shift the story in a way I didn't predict from what I originally planned.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
fun im at work now so I'll heed your warning hehe.  looking forward to listening tonight.
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

I don't suppose you have a version without the background music?  Sorry I'm finding it hard to focus.
I don't suppose you have a version without the background music?  Sorry I'm finding it hard to focus.



My apologies, the music was being played through one of my player's rather large headphones. And I have no means to edit it out or isolate it and turn it down.

I personally feel it enhances the game, but I can understand why someone would have a hard time focusing. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
I don't suppose you have a version without the background music?  Sorry I'm finding it hard to focus.



My apologies, the music was being played through one of my player's rather large headphones. And I have no means to edit it out or isolate it and turn it down.

I personally feel it enhances the game, but I can understand why someone would have a hard time focusing. 



Well it's not that I mind the music, it's just sometimes I found it a little distracting to what's being said.  No big deal though
I don't suppose you have a version without the background music?  Sorry I'm finding it hard to focus.



My apologies, the music was being played through one of my player's rather large headphones. And I have no means to edit it out or isolate it and turn it down.

I personally feel it enhances the game, but I can understand why someone would have a hard time focusing. 



Well it's not that I mind the music, it's just sometimes I found it a little distracting to what's being said.  No big deal though



If there's anything you need clarity on, just ask me. I must've listened to it almost 3 times now in review. Trying to figure out what I could have done better or what points I want to return to in later sessions. This recording is one of the best things I ever talked everyone into. xD
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Before I get to providing a critique, I'm wondering what your thoughts are about the session. 
About how often do you guys get together for games, and how long do campaigns last (number of sessesions).  Just giving me a better idea of how to frame my critique.

And don't worry, I know you expressed in the video you were worried about actually putting this up but let me assure you that you're a brave man to seek this kind of help, and that I assure your conversations aren't any more bizare than some of the others I've heard/been part of.


Random aside: I don't understand how two Poke'mon could beat a team of 6 on equal level, unless someone just used rare candies without taking advantage of effort values.
Before I get to providing a critique, I'm wondering what your thoughts are about the session. 
About how often do you guys get together for games, and how long do campaigns last (number of sessesions).  Just giving me a better idea of how to frame my critique.

And don't worry, I know you expressed in the video you were worried about actually putting this up but let me assure you that you're a brave man to seek this kind of help, and that I assure your conversations aren't any more bizare than some of the others I've heard/been part of.


Random aside: I don't understand how two Poke'mon could beat a team of 6 on equal level, unless someone just used rare candies without taking advantage of effort values.



Actually, I posted the session because I and other DMs wanted to compare notes on how we all ran our sessions. We wanted a closer look at the different styles we use. If you have critiques, opinions, comments, etc. feel free to speak them.

I've been DMing the game for 7 years, primarily with these 2 players and with others as extras at times through those 7 years. We've been friends for a little longer than that though. We basically grew up together.

My thoughts on the session? I made a few blunders with the rules as I don't get to DM as much or as often as I'd like to these days because our schedules are all a little different. This is actually the fourth session of our campaign that we started back in...June? We're trying to play more often by doing what we can with our schedules, but that's a problem for us to solve.

My primary blunder that concerns me is the coup de grace rule. I'm not sure I should have let them use it on the sleeping bug bears. I could determine that the sleeping bugbears are sleeping combatants and just not getting to make moves, but I also forgot to make move silently checks so they could position themselves. The coup de grace action is a problem because of how surprise rounds work that I didn't realize/discover until later when I took a look in the books. That said, I feel that scene was really cool and so did they, so...how much should I really worry about it? Not much, I imagine.

Other small things that bug me are that they genuinely caught me off guard with the questions they asked the old man NPC and the brother bugbear. Back in the day, those things wouldn't have caught me off guard because I was doing this on a regular basis and had answers for everything. I feel I've gotten a tad rusty from the long months of not DMing on a regular basis.

I figure most people will be gnashing their teeth over the seemingly wasted session time on some of our tangents and the fact it took them 30 minutes to actually leave the prison cells. ;) xD But, despite the fact I point out they're paranoid, I do actually find that to be a healthy habit for an adventurer. But as I said about the tangents: we use this not only as gaming time, but a social time. If we didn't, we wouldn't have much of a way to catch up with one another these days. Work sucks, basically is what I'm saying. lmfao

After the session and recording ended, I did take the time to get their thoughts on how things went. They actually had a lot of fun and considered it a pretty solid session. They didn't seem to notice as many blunders as I did.

Lastly, they actually took the story in a new direction that I didn't see coming. I had expected them to slaughter every single bugbear in the fort and come up against doo hammer in battle. But, at the same time, about two weeks before we played, I did have a small discussion with one of them about their playstyle. I'm not sure if it was that convo or the fact we were recording that made them change. Whatever the reason, I'm actually glad it happened. They now have allies they can look to for help in the future. They also managed to bypass a crap ton of traps on the second floor by allying themselves with the bugbears. And that last little roleplaying bit where he gave advice to the brother bugbear was unexpected as well, which I rewarded with bonus RP XP.

Oh, and we use 3.5 if that helps clear up any concerns over the game rules.

Typical campaign lasts 1-7 sessions (most of those ending in death). Longest campaign being one year and a half with over...I'm guessing 60+ sessions? Maybe more? Maybe less? The second longest was 6 months that lasted...30+ sessions?

Also, as for Poke'mon, his two pokemon beat everyone's because no one understood anything about how EVs and IVs worked back when the games released. And he just happened to have two powerful pokemon via training and didn't realize it. This was back in 4th grade. Which meant 1998-1999. I was in 5th grade at the time.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Also, for those that do listen to it, I hope you get some good laughs from it, at the very least...

*vomutes everywhere* 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
I'm only halfway through the recording so far, but is it explained, who or how the key was put in the one player?
I'm only halfway through the recording so far, but is it explained, who or how the key was put in the one player?



For this session, no.

But the old man tells them that it was "a guy wearing guard armor from a nearby town who had a glowing sword".

This is a reference back to two sessions ago where they were arrested for burning down a crime scene in town and a corrupt guard tried to confiscate a locket they found at the scene. The fighter swallowed the locket out of spite. The guard gutted him with his special frost sword and retrieved the locket in anger.

The old man also tells them that "he said something about this one liking to swallow things" as he put the key in the fighter.

So, this was a jab at the fighter by the guard and done mostly out of spite and humor for the game. It was mainly meant for the players to understand the jab. But I'm glad you asked so I could clear it up for everyone. ^_^ 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
^^
Makes sense... I was hoping like crazy that they were going to cut the one player open to get the key, and was kinda disappointed when he just stuck his finger down his throat, but I am rather evil so...

Is this the same fort you were asking about design help on one of the other threads?


I'm not sure I would have played the bugbears as open-minded as you did (especially when they woke up the one who asked how they got out of their cell), but I also am only just getting to that part of the recording, so there may be reasons for it. 
^^
Makes sense... I was hoping like crazy that they were going to cut the one player open to get the key, and was kinda disappointed when he just stuck his finger down his throat, but I am rather evil so...

Is this the same fort you were asking about design help on one of the other threads?




Yup. I still need to sit down and make the maps in MS paint and post them. But I'm being lazy and I have a cold. I don't feel like doing too much. The basic lay out is: bottom floor (2 levels underground), second floor (1 level underground), ground floor (interior of fort walls and rooms/buildings), ground floor exterior (courtyard, gate, buildings, etc.).

And actually, in the old days...they would have cut the fighter open. xD I'm just as surprised and somewhat disappointed they didn't as well.

They do plan on taking the campaign in an evil direction...they do so very much enjoy being evil. But this time, they seem to be doing it smartly. Which I think is going to make for one very entertaining campaign this time around.

Edit: Eventually, you'll see why I played the bugbears that way. I didn't do a perfect job of explaining their situation or portraying it (which also kind of bugs me), but I do give some reasoning. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Nice.  I'm still listening, and will probably have more thoughts once I get to the end.  Pretty cool though, to hear someone else's approach from an outsiders position. 
Awesome. Good to know people are actually listening and enjoying it.

I'll check back in a couple hours before bed. In the meantime, I have some sweet lootz to grab in BL 2. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Bumping this for the hell of it.

YOL-*shoots self*

*is raised from dead*

...I mean, YOLT! xD Sigh...my players. lmfao 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/

Thank you for providing the background for the group and how things have occurred within the group.  As I mentioned it just helps me sculpt my critique to fit your experiences and the like.  I want to stress that these are just my opinions based on my first listening, and that I do not intend to offend you with any of them.  What you did was a very brave thing sharing something like this with the world seeking help and I don’t want to dissuade you from doing so in the future, so please think of anything from here on out as just a critique and something to consider and reflect on. 


I think the primary thing that could help you out is waiting until the end of session for looking up the rules, and come up with a standard rule during the session resolving to make sure next time you do it the right way if you ended up doing it the wrong way.  It’s not a biggie by any means, but it does help with the flow of things instead of waiting for someone to find the rule in the book.


There were a few times I felt your players were playing “Let’s Make a Deal”, with drawers, doors, and the like.  It makes me think they’ve have had some bad experiences with those sorts of things in the past.  I know you said you liked to have some paranoia in them, but there were a few other times were I think their cautiousness was a bit much.  If you do think this needs alleviating, then it’s easiest enough fix.  All you would have to do is encourage them to check, maybe even ask if they do.


On subject of hiding stats of items, such as acquired magical items, it can end up being a lot of book keeping.  For things like the bonus the item gives it’s usually easier to let them know instead of having to add it in whenever they attack.  Now hiding special abilities of a weapon is something a bit easier, but the extra bit of math you have to do all the time can be annoying.  This is of course personal preference and if you don’t want to change that no need to.


You did do a good job of keeping them on task for the most part, everyone does get side tracked once in a while but that happens with any group.  On that note there were a few conversation points I would like to ask you about, like that warlock problem, but that’s really beyond the scope of this critique. You also generally did give them enough time to think through actions.  Something that I don’t feel some DMs do. 


There was one thing I do think you should change about your style.  It seems there were a few times were the players got “gotcha’d” .  The chief example of this was when they had to make the save for the hammer after they got into combat when the player might have, and did express, that they would have taken a different action if they had failed.  In those circumstances it’s best to just ignore it and move on, and remember to do it next time.  There were a couple of other minor instances of this, but the main question you have to ask is “Is it really worth making the player upset just to fix a rule that I forgot” and the answer is almost always a no.







So in summary Here’s what I got out of one listening to this session:

1.) Save looking up non-essential rules until after the session to speed things up. (anything that is short of killing a player usually falls into this.)

2.) Consider encouraging active searching for traps and the like so players aren’t just worried about who opens what to get screwed.

3.) Consider doing less book keeping by just telling players the stats of magic items.

4.) Keep up the good work of getting players on task, and giving them time to think things through.

5.) Don’t just punish players for missed rules, just make a note not to miss it again.

Thank you for providing the background for the group and how things have occurred within the group.  As I mentioned it just helps me sculpt my critique to fit your experiences and the like.  I want to stress that these are just my opinions based on my first listening, and that I do not intend to offend you with any of them.  What you did was a very brave thing sharing something like this with the world seeking help and I don’t want to dissuade you from doing so in the future, so please think of anything from here on out as just a critique and something to consider and reflect on. 


I think the primary thing that could help you out is waiting until the end of session for looking up the rules, and come up with a standard rule during the session resolving to make sure next time you do it the right way if you ended up doing it the wrong way.  It’s not a biggie by any means, but it does help with the flow of things instead of waiting for someone to find the rule in the book.


There were a few times I felt your players were playing “Let’s Make a Deal”, with drawers, doors, and the like.  It makes me think they’ve have had some bad experiences with those sorts of things in the past.  I know you said you liked to have some paranoia in them, but there were a few other times were I think their cautiousness was a bit much.  If you do think this needs alleviating, then it’s easiest enough fix.  All you would have to do is encourage them to check, maybe even ask if they do.


On subject of hiding stats of items, such as acquired magical items, it can end up being a lot of book keeping.  For things like the bonus the item gives it’s usually easier to let them know instead of having to add it in whenever they attack.  Now hiding special abilities of a weapon is something a bit easier, but the extra bit of math you have to do all the time can be annoying.  This is of course personal preference and if you don’t want to change that no need to.


You did do a good job of keeping them on task for the most part, everyone does get side tracked once in a while but that happens with any group.  On that note there were a few conversation points I would like to ask you about, like that warlock problem, but that’s really beyond the scope of this critique. You also generally did give them enough time to think through actions.  Something that I don’t feel some DMs do. 


There was one thing I do think you should change about your style.  It seems there were a few times were the players got “gotcha’d” .  The chief example of this was when they had to make the save for the hammer after they got into combat when the player might have, and did express, that they would have taken a different action if they had failed.  In those circumstances it’s best to just ignore it and move on, and remember to do it next time.  There were a couple of other minor instances of this, but the main question you have to ask is “Is it really worth making the player upset just to fix a rule that I forgot” and the answer is almost always a no.







So in summary Here’s what I got out of one listening to this session:

1.) Save looking up non-essential rules until after the session to speed things up. (anything that is short of killing a player usually falls into this.)

2.) Consider encouraging active searching for traps and the like so players aren’t just worried about who opens what to get screwed.

3.) Consider doing less book keeping by just telling players the stats of magic items.

4.) Keep up the good work of getting players on task, and giving them time to think things through.

5.) Don’t just punish players for missed rules, just make a note not to miss it again.



I'm not offended by any means.

I think many of these points are fair criticisms actually, even the ones I disagree with, which I think is only really one.

On the first point, I'd love to do that. But one of them is a rules lawyer. Can you guess which one? I'm betting it's glaringly obvious as I was very surprised when he conceded. Fortunately, burning time for us has never been that big an issue. Even as stressed as we are now with our schedules. That said, I think I might actually enforce this one.

To point 2, they most certainly were playing "Let's Make a Deal". And I have no idea where that came from. They've never done that before. But you know what? It worked. They stumbled into all the right things at the right moments. Go figure. That said, they also bypassed the second floor which is where they would have been screwed by traps.

I have to be careful how I handle traps though. Neither is a rogue, thus even if they find one, they can't disable it easily. Which is why especially for this campaign, I encourage the cautiousness. But, I do see your point. Being afraid of the desk was what really drives this point home me thinks. Being scared of the chests in the armory makes sense. Being afraid the desk is going to explode, well...yeah. The sad part? I've never had a desk explode on them or do anything abnormal to my knowledge. I think the closest I ever came might have been a wizard's desk or something that had some dangerous material in it, but...other than that? Eh. And even then, it didn't explode. Other than that, I sometimes get the sense that they thrive on finding and living through these kinds of dangers. If I removed these kinds of things or did active checks (currently not all that possible without a rogue), I think it might actually diminish some of the fun for them. I'll think about this some more and see what I can do to nudge them here and there, but for the most part, I'm okay with it.

Point 3, I understand why book keeping sucks. But I'm all about book keeping on the DM side. Plus, as I've mentioned elsewhere, exploration exploration exploration. And, giving them something else to spend their gold on (identification) broadens the uses of their resources. Or at the very least I can jimmy rig up a small encounter, adventure, or plot point in town to discover what the item does. Great way to burn up time.

Point 4, thank you. And ask away, what questions do you have specifically about the warlock?

Point 5, Fair point. I did blunder that hammer thing pretty hard. "Gotcha" moments are something I don't necessarily go out of my way to do unless it's supposed to be a pretty damn good hidden trap, but they do come up mostly by mistake. In my years, it's been a very hard thing to iron out completely so I've always just rolled with them when they came up. Sometimes they end badly. But mostly I've managed to make them worthwhile I think. Which, btw, on the brown side, they never cleaned themselves up before getting back to town. I'll have to remind them that they are still covered in fecal matter at the start of the next session... 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
A final bump out of self interest.

Also, to make it known that others should feel free to post their own sessions here if they wish. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
I'm curious how your recorded the session. I've been looking to the same myself; though more for funny crap that happens when we play together.
I'm curious how your recorded the session. I've been looking to the same myself; though more for funny crap that happens when we play together.



An android smart phone, as I recall. An app allows it to record sound. I'll have to ask specifically what app was used.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Ah, I have an iPhone and it can record, I just never thought to use it because I use it for the turn timer. I also questioned the quality but I'm sure we could work on it. Thanks broski
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