Story Shtick is an “edited play” podcast of Story Games – roleplaying games (RPGs) that focus on “our story” rather than “my character”. The podcast is a resource for gamers who are interested in various Story Games to listen to a session of a specific game being played so they can decide if that game is something they want to play. I also offer commentary on the game sessions and my thoughts on the game system. Game sessions are broken into multiple episodes for ease of downloading and listening.
Some episodes will be short “audio blogs” rather than game recordings and some will be panel discussions with other gamers. The focus of these will be Story Games.
I have no plans to release content on a regular basis, but when I release actual play recordings all the episodes of that game session will be released within a month of each other.
Here’s a short promo for Story Shtick. Please let me know if you play it on your show!
What I do here is fairly different from most actual play podcasts and actual play recordings released for most games. I thought it might be useful to give listeners some insight into what I’m trying to achieve and how I plan to achieve it. To that end, I’ve created a Vision Statement for the podcast in two parts.
Vision Statement, Part 1: Present edited play of Story Games in a manner that will inform and entertain, revealing the creative process of the games in play while maintaining the linear narrative.
In order to do this, I edit the audio recordings quite heavily. Typically I cut a half-hour to an hour out of each game. This mostly consists of dead air, off-topic discussions, and redundant explanations. Repetition is an important part of learning. But when listening to others play a game you can focus on explanations the first couple of times without the distraction of concentrating on your own character or role in the game. So what is necessary repetition at the game table can often be redundant to a non-playing listener.
At the same time, listening to the actual play in the sequence it occurs helps the listener follow the game and understand the system. Therefore, I try to keep as much of the flow of the game session in tact as possible. The brainstorming, the back-and-forth, and even the misunderstandings are a part of the play process and they are important to understanding how these games are played. I also realize that some listeners enjoy actual play purely as an entertaining story and I want to keep the story together whenever possible.
Throughout the edited play recordings I interject commentary recorded after editing the audio. This commentary serves to inform wherever the details of the session are unclear or the rules weren’t strictly adhered to. Hopefully my commentaries also entertain! I try to add commentary as naturally as possible without taking the listener out of the flow of the game too often or too abruptly. My balance is to add a comment about every five minutes and to avoid making comments less than one minute apart unless they are very brief.
Another way in which I try to keep the entertainment value high is in cherry-picking the best recordings and the best game sessions. When all the players are clicking and the energy levels at the game table are high it makes for a better game and a better show.
Vision Statement, Part 2: Showcase game systems and be a standing resource for those interested in purchasing, running, and playing those games.
This is why I don’t number episodes as “Story Shtick Episode 6” or the like. I doesn’t matter which episode is most recent or which was released first. Each game system featured has its own series of episodes that stand alone if you don’t listen to any of the other episodes of the show.
Also, I don’t plan to release more edited play of a game system that has already been covered. I like lots of games and I haven’t had a chance to record and edit all of the game systems I’m playing or would like to play. Someday I will run out and I’ll either take a long break from the show or end it, but I plan to keep it about the new – at least for the edited actual play.
I’m always looking for ways to improve the show or try new things in support of this vision. Please come to the forums and let me know if you have any suggestions along these lines.