Lazy Friday Video Post: How to Play a Role Playing Game

I’ve found this video when I searched for “roleplaying” on YouTube. What I found very interesting was the notion of having a “leader” who does most of the speaking for the group. Perhaps I didn’t understand him correctly, but this seems to be a rather strange concept to me.

What are your thoughts on that concept? As always I would love to read your thoughts on that matter.

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

7 thoughts on “Lazy Friday Video Post: How to Play a Role Playing Game”

  1. I think having a «caller» was actually in the old D&D rules. AD&D 1st ed. Players Handbook p. 105 in the «Obedience» (hah!) section. Mentzer's Basic D&D (Red Box) has a section called «Mapper and Caller» on page 53 of the Players Manual.
    .-= Alex Schröder´s last blog ..Gleichberechtigung =-.

  2. It's a very old concept and I'm not sure if people still do that now. We use to elect the paladin in AD&D as the party leader because of their godly stats (back then, we still rolled for ability score).

    Nowadays, we still choose a party 'talker' but he isn't always the party leader (if we have any at all).

  3. As a GM, I've started using it as a device to move the plot forward when the party is undecided. Nobody wants to talk? Nobody knows where to go? Then I pick whoever I feel looks like an authority figure in character (which often isn't one of the more assertive players), and ask them: «So, what are you orders? Which direction are you pointing in? What do you say?»

    It still works!

    It was good advice back then, it still is now.
    .-= Alex Schröder´s last blog ..Spirit of the Century in China =-.

  4. People used to have much larger groups. I remember playing in a game at the Library in '85 and there were at least 10 players in the group.

    With that many people the idea was that it's easier/faster for the DM if someone (the caller) can collect all the players actions (while the DM does DM stuff I guess) and then tells the DM what everyone is doing at the same time.
    .-= Stuart´s last blog ..RPG Bloggers and Blog Networks =-.

  5. In my games the "party leader" has always cropped up organically. I have a couple players who are just more outgoing than the others, and they do a good job managing the party, even to the point of encouraging newbie players to take the leadership position at times; for example, I ran an adventure where all but one PC was killed, the one survivor being the character of one of our less experience players. When the other players introduced new characters the next session, instead retaking the leadership position they encouraged the survivor's player to lead the group.
    .-= Spenser´s last blog ..Review: Kobold Quarterly #11 =-.

  6. The "caller" idea is a VERY old idea, and not one I would recommend for any gaming group. I think the idea may have originated for very young players, so that there was not a shouting match to get the GM's attention, but any gaming group with a modicum of civility should never run into this issue.

    If a group DID have a problem with people talking over each other, a better solution would be to roll up initiative at the beginning of every session. Whenever more than one person wanted to react to the GM at a time, the GM could have each one react in their initiative order, going around the group.

    Often groups do develop a party leader, but this tends to be more in-game than this metagame suggestion. I honestly hope that no gaming groups fall into this method of gaming.

  7. I know i'm a few months late commenting but whatever. Anytime our group has a situation where multiple characters want to do something we roll initiative. This often crops up when meet new npcs. Our fighter will want to intimidate or scare them if not outright attack and our rouge will want to talk and try to use diplomacy. In the case of you are sitting around the fire and see eyes in the distance we'll do a spot or perception check and whoever sees them will be asked what they want to do.

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