The summer game that I am running has a very modest podcast. The goal, in this multi-party summer extravaganza is to help facilitate inter-party communication and keep people updated (for those who wish to work on the meta puzzle aspect of the game.)
I won’t lie, and say that the production values are great (with the notable exception of the one player who is a professional streamer and has good quality recording and editing equipment on hand) recording over Discord, and we are not a performance podcast. As its mostly meant for the players, its more 5-10 min summaries of the action.
And so far, we have over 100 listens, so I think that the party is actually using it. But it has had some other, unexpected benefits that I want to talk about now.
It Makes Players Take Notes
What was the name of that NPC from three towns back? Where did we leave that object? And the million other questions about in game things that players often ask at random moments can all be circumnavigated with good note taking. But usually, players just don’t do it. The summaries for the podcast give them a good reason to take regular notes, and gives them an easy way to review, if they should feel like they need to.
It Allows for More Elaborate Multi Part Mysteries
Detailed notes, and easy usage, allow for puzzles and setups that spawn multiple areas. It gives players the ability to work with information not just in the moment, but from the 30,000 foot view as well. Players are usually pretty smart, but they can get caught up in the challenge ahead if you are throwing a lot at them. This gives them perspective, and with the DMs episode I put out once a week, it gives me the ability to highlight what is happening on the macro scale of the world.
It Makes The DMs Progress Notes Easier
Keeping progress notes on multiple parties is a challenge, and it can be bad if they are not well organized. But if I do happen to forget things the podcasts can help to remind me of what I may have missed while I was busy running the game.
It Gives You An Insight Into What The Players Value
Players, of course, do not tell every detail in the game in that short time. What they choose to highlight and mention to the other parties (our listeners) tells you what they found to be memorable about the game. That was I can give them more of what matters to them.
So, while a performance podcast isn’t for every group, there are some considerable upsides to a game podcast. And honestly, I just love hearing them retell their stories for each other. Stories are a way of building community, and I would dearly love for this to become a community.