So you may have heard noises about my new project Starfall Actual Play Podcast. It's been a really large project. I have noted a few differences of how I GM First, let me tell you about the show then I will tell you about how Game mastering for a show is different.
So the show is a hybrid of Audio Dramas, Short stories, and Actual play recordings ... and they all interconnect at some point. And this is where things get complex. Our Voice acting cast is different from the players as I want the players to be kept in the dark. Players have not scripted however the voice actors ever word that is recorded is written by myself, Imp and our editor. With Voice actors all over the world (three countries and counting) it's tough to keep everything organized. Oh yes there is still the whole "Standard adventure planning"
Railroading the players
I am not a fan of railroading. In fact, I do prefer to have a more sandbox approach to being a gamemaster. However, in the first episode, I had to guide the players to a particular point where an event would happen. Without that the previous recordings and scripts would have been wasted. So what does the Gamemaster do? Railroad! This resulted in me saying "No" far more often than I would have liked. Though the players did not seem to mind.
Warning Players of future events
So I really like to keep players in the dark about what is going to happen. However, there is something to be said about giving the players time to think about how they would like to Roleplay their way out of a situation or perhaps practice their lines. Example. There is going to be a scene where the characters are sitting around a campfire. I'm going to deliberately give them time to rest, recover and most importantly interact with each other. I have warned the players that this is going to happen (They don't know the when or the why or how) to give them the chance to think of what kinds of conversations they might have.
Expect Better Roleplay
Yes, its a game... but its also for the entertainment of others beyond the people at the table. So I have been spending more time coaching the players on how to be a better roleplayer. Most of the time I would allow the players work at their own pace at this (allowing Years if that is what it takes) Being that this is a podcast I am talking to the players more about roleplaying and how to be better at it.
Allow roleplay Do-overs
To be clear .. this does not mean that they get a second roll of the dice. But let's say that one of the players is trying to talk their way out of a fight. The player said all the right things but stumbled over the sentence. I would allow them to say that a second time just to "Sound smooth". We are even going to have a bell that a player can ring (shows up visually during editing) To easly mark where the player would like me to edit.
Editing for time
The first episode I have edited TONS out of it. Conversations about rules. Conversations that were totally sidetracked. Even a comment about putting Boobs on a windshield. All of this does not need to be in the main podcast. (Bloopers episode for sure because its funny). With the average attention span of 45 min for a podcast .. I need to trim time where I can.
Extra Coaching for players
Now listening to the first episode you would not think that three of the players had never played an RPG until that night. So more coaching is needed. We also only have two people that know everything there is to know about the world. So I'm spending extra time talking to the players about how their character would act (being Elome, G'dar or Warmedian). The players don't seem to mind this extra attention.
Running an RPG game Just for fun
With all this editing, planning and writing. The Starfall Actual play podcast has become a lot of work (Fun but a lot of work) and though I would not mind getting paid to do this. Now and then I need to run a game just for fun. So I have not cancled my other game groups (Numenera and Shadowrun) but I'm not going to record those. No matter how awesome they are.