Art of the Pickup Game

The Art of the Pickup Game

I’ve been running table top role playing games on Roll20 for a while now, both with IRL friends and friends I’ve made online. Recently, I’ve been exploring running games pick up games on alternating Saturday nights. I’ve gotten to play with new people, and run on-shots of games I’ve been wanting to play but haven’t had a chance to play in a while

Finding players on Roll20

Roll 20’s pickup game feature is still relatively new. It allows players to join the game automatically within two hours of the game’s posted start time. This allows new players to drop in without the games master’s invite. The risk of getting players who are disruptive is there, but I haven’t had any trouble yet. Overall I’ve really enjoyed almost all of the interactions I’ve had with people during these games. The quality of role play that has occurred in these games surprises me.

I’m still working out the technical issues of running these games. Roll 20 is not the easiest tool to use for social interaction. I find myself regularly challenged to communicate with players the way I want to. I suppose this is one of the reason people are so fond of Discord. Also, choosing the right role playing game is important, as is choosing the right way to run it.. I like games with simple and interactive character development. This allows character development to be part of the fun of the session. As I continue these games, I’ll be sharing what I learn on this blog.

A “safety in gaming” discussion with players at the beginning of the session is critical to ensuring that things don’t go off the rails. I learned that lesson the hard way. These discussions help ensure that everybody in the game knows the limits, and can feel comfortable exploring the topics they want to explore. I’ll share more in an upcoming post.

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