So, last week I published the 71st episode of “Ronin Roleplaying” podcast, not including the two Halloween specials we’ve done to date. In actuality, this article is a bit out-of-date, then, but close enough… This is what you get!
What does all of this matter? It really doesn’t for anyone else, I’m sure, but it matters to me in this one, slight way. I have now published more episodes of my solo actual-play podcast, than we did of the regular actual-play podcast (“Knights of the Tabletop”) that preceded it.
In itself, this really shouldn’t matter to anyone, but it does matter to me for one reason: I did this all on my own. KOTT was a group effort, through and through. The brainchild of my brother Beoulus, we collected a fine group of roleplayers, and created an actual-play that was perhaps not the best, but certainly different from other such shows.
KOTT was shorter than most actual-play podcasts, roughly 30 minutes per episode, and we mostly played games like “Pugmire”, taking brief breaks for a one-shot roughly every four to six months. While I performed as GameMaster for each of these games, as well as Editor, Engineer, and Producer (I handled the technical parts of the show), the real stars were the rest of the cast. Beoulus, Tenknife, Domina, Beorn, Scarlet Rose, He Who Constantly Changed His Name, and Captain MacDuff really made KOTT shine.
I know that “Knights of the Tabletop” was not the highest quality audio podcast, especially during our earliest episodes, but considering our limited equipment (usually a single omnidirectional microphone in the center of Beoulus’ living room, recorded on an old laptop; except for when we played remotely over Discord), but KOTT was a great learning experience for me, at least. I also felt it was a fun time overall, even if it did fall apart in the end.
So now we have put out 71 episodes of “Ronin Roleplaying” (73, if you count the Preview and last year’s Halloween show). The quality of this show remains… questionable, at best… but I have made efforts to improve over time. I do believe I have gotten better as a roleplayer, and my voice-acting has improved somewhat through doing “Ronin Roleplaying”, if only because I have no choice but to improve! “Practice Makes Perfect”, as they say, and I get a LOT of practice playing TTRPGs solo.
While we now have more published shows under RR than we did with KOTT, I do miss the camaraderie of playing with a group, even if that made producing the podcast way more difficult than doing it on my own. There were too many extra factors to deal with when we were doing KOTT, compared to my sitting at my desk, with a single microphone, and my roleplaying gear on a little table to my side. It is far from perfect, as anyone can tell from listening to the show, but the quality is far from as questionable as it was with KOTT most of the time.
Anyway… Pats self on the back
Now then, I bring this up for another reason, as well: I am wondering if I should start up a new actual-play roleplaying podcast? Something along the lines of “Knights of the Tabletop”, being a group endeavor, but using everything I have learned over the last few years regarding Actual Plays. Yes, I know I’ve talked about doing this before, but I’m really thinking this might be a good time to get it started!
If I were to do this, I think it would be different in that we would be playing exclusively online, probably over Discord, or another VOIP service. While I miss playing in person, I’m not sure that is something Ten or I will ever do again, especially when trying to produce a podcast. It’s simply too much stress, and COVID has changed things, so that we really don’t want to hang out in groups anymore. Also, I would vet the group, only bringing in a few people who…
- Are experienced roleplayers, even if they don’t specifically know the game we are playing.
- Keep it light and fun.
- No Edgelords allowed!
- Provide quality headphones and microphones for themselves.
- Know how to use the software we end up employing.
- Can understand things will be fluid, regarding scheduling and gameplay.
- Must be professional, and understand that while this is a roleplaying game, it is a podcast first.
What I have in mind would be a podcast run in a “West Marches”-style, being that players and characters may change from month to month, or even week to week. The games would always start out from a central hub city or base of operations, allowing us to change things up, if some players aren’t available, or someone wants to change characters. This applies even if we change from one game to another, although obviously the setting, characters, and hub would all be different.
One important note, that would carry over from the old KOTT days, would be that this would be an entirely volunteer project. Scormey.com is what one might affectionately call a “Money Pit”. The ads on this website make me literally only pennies per month, so there is absolutely no way I can pay anyone wishing to be on this show. This absolutely sucks, to be sure, but it is what it is.
Basically, anyone who wants to be on the show, must want to be there for fun alone. Exposure doesn’t put food on the table, and there won’t be much exposure, anyway… other than what little I can provide on social media.
“Why are you asking so much from people, when you can’t even pay them”, you ask?
Well, that’s simple: Nothing I have asked above is any more than I would ask from a roleplaying group playing online. Well, other than the last point regarding being professional, but that’s just common courtesy, in my opinion. Even the best engineers, with the best equipment, can’t remove the sound of munching food right into the mic!
But I digress.
Here’s the thing, though: I don’t envision this podcast – if it were to happen – showing up anytime soon. If this happens, I envision we would build up a large amount of shows in advance, and perhaps start publishing them at the start of 2023.
Maybe. Possibly. We’ll see.
Anyway, we will see what happens. If anyone is interested in discussing this possible project, get on the Discord server and we can talk about it.