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Saturday, May 17, 2014

1st RPG session in the can

Well, we sat down for a couple hours last night and played our first session of Call of Cthulhu. It went fairly well although, as I feared, I spent way too much time on things wholly unnecessary to the adventure and so was scrambling to finish up the maps for the adventure. It is a gift and a curse.

Despite not being fully prepared I think it went pretty well considering all three of us are new to the game.

So some thoughts on what I need to fix/ could be improved.


  1. Figure out how to better monitor Cam Studio's recording process. - I just set it and forget it and that was a mistake as I exceeded it's max capacity for capturing video (it's 2GB). I can only record in AVI and may need to figure out something else if I can't work this out.
  2. Learn more about the features of Roll20 and how to use them. - As a group we struggled at times figure out how to use the site to accomplish what we wanted. One key would be to figure out how to get a character sheet into the program.
  3. Make sure to listen to the music before plunking it in the jukebox. - I was busy doing other things so let this slide. Just searching for Cthulhu and or Horror didn't work very well and the music became more of a distraction than an enhancer. Lesson learned I hope.
What worked well?




  1. Roll20. - Despite our growing pains it did the basic job of allowing three people in different cities to play a game together. Sound and video held up with only a couple of hiccups that were easy to fix by refreshing the browser output settings. We were able to roll dice on the application and all see what we rolled, and handouts and hiding areas on the map were all pretty smooth.
  2. VoiceMeeter - Worked like a charm. A really great tool for mixing the microphone and system sound. One thing to be aware of though is that your group can only hear what is going through the Roll20 application. If I played music from my computer or the internet the players couldn't hear it.
  3. Logitech G35 - Worked as advertised. The sound quality of the headphones is good, the players say the mic quality is much better than the tablet mic and I think that sound quality came through on the recorded audio.
  4. Audacity - I made a big boo boo by not recording the audio simultaneously with the video or so I thought. I made that choice because I knew I could strip the audio from the video later. Then the video failed to render and I was left with something that wouldn't play in VLC and sounded like static in audacity. Then I found the temp file. The video still won't play but the audio is intact. So I have 1hr and 45min of the audio of our game. We talked a lot before and after the game, but I didn't record that.
So what's next?

We are next scheduled to play on May 30th. In the intervening time I'd like to finish up my last extraneous handouts. Figure out how to get a character sheet into the game and fix the music in the juke box. If I could also figure out how to get more or better art into the game I would do that too, but that is secondary. I'd also like to get my paperwork a little better organized. I made a lot of notes and handouts and then found I still didn't always have the info I wanted or needed.

As for releasing the game play? I'm not totally sure how or where I want to do that. If you are really jonesing for some live play you should go check out Skype of Cthulhu. I absolutely hate their sound quality, but the sessions that I've listened to have been pretty good. Dream of Japan was pretty good, but seemed a little flat as an adventure. Terror from the Skies has taken awhile to get there, but has had a lot of investigation and combat and thrown a ton of mythos stuff at the players, so in short what I want out of the game. The only other gripe I have about their website is that some audio comes on when you open it and it is loud and a little annoying. So turn down or mute you volume while you search for episodes that interest you.

I'm off to coach my son's team in our first playoff game. It will be a week 4 rematch between our Cowboys and the 7-1 Broncos. We lost that game by 2 points. Their only loss came at the hands of the Seahawks who we beat 12-0 last weekend. So I am fairly confident that we can win this game, even though that would mean totally missing any chance to do San Soo tomorrow. I don't think my son will play, unfortunately, as he was up half the night vomiting.

Have a good one.

2 comments:

  1. It does sound that for your first attempt that despite some niggly problems you actual got a game in, which was the aim.
    I personally wouldn't do a write-up and I never did when I gm'd a game- my players on the other hand...
    Whether your players enjoyed it and if they made for good first time investigators may well be worth a comment about though.

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    1. Thanks Zabadak. I never wrote up or recorded any sessions before either. When I last participated in a game we hadn't even heard of the internet. I won't do a blow by blow account here but I probably will do a synopsis.

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