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GM Over Skype

Games Management –
Running Games Over Skype

If you are choosing to run games over Skype (or other online tools allowing voice chat) you might need to follow a couple of protocols to make it easier to play games with more than two people online.

Since I have starting running skype games, I thought it would be timely to write a post covering skype etiquette and things that players should be aware of when they are participating in an online game.

Pre-Game Preparations

Have your character sheet and dice ready, as well as any game references.

Know your character, not every GM will have memorised your character, I run six games, I am lucky to remember your characters name, let alone race, so don’t be surprised if I miss background elements, what spells your have, and how they all work.

Microphone

When not talking, mute your microphone, Un-mute before talking, announce who you are, wait for current speaker to give you a chance (GM will interrupt if required).

This is important as the last thing you want is to talk over other people or have them talk over you. Or worse, miss out on information because you have talked over the GM giving you an important plot point.

Note: Two checks to make, is there a phone near your microphone, is your tool picking up the microphone. Both of these have had issues with my online games.

Joining a Group Chat (Skype)

When joining a group chat, don’t start a call with the GM (they might already have started) message them that your are ready to be included. If they don’t respond to a message in the tool (some tools hide the messages) then contact them via their phone or messenger (if they use it) with a reminder that your ready. Sometime we do get caught up in conversation and miss the prompts.

If you have dropped out of an existing chat, you can reconnect without having to be invited.

Once you have joined the game, don’t message the chat, or the person while they are running it, they are not looking for chat message, and they can be disruptive to game being played, instead message one of the other players to bring it to the GM’s attention.

Set appropriate reminders for when the game will start, if your in different time-zones you have the internet available to check and confirm times.

Use video only where required, as too many video’s streaming into each location can overwhelm connections.

First Time Connections

When using a Virtual Table Top (VTT), application make sure you have tested the connection before the game.

When using skype or other Voice Over Internet Protocal (VOIP) make sure you have connected with the GM before the game day if its your first time connecting.

Things to Try and Avoid

Don’t leave a mobile phone within a metre of the microphone, this can cause distortion over the connection that everyone else hears.

When eating or drinking, it is good to mute the microphone.

Not everyone is perfect, so be aware that tools will normally show when your broadcasting noise, even if your not talking. As the GM is generally involved in 50% or more of the conversation, they tend to leave their microphone on, and that can unintentionally introduce background noise.

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By thedarkelf007

I am a long term gamer, I run 6 RPG's a fortnight, host board game, card game and LANs each about once a quarter and have an addiction to buying more games. Games I am currently running are Pathfinder (1st and 2nd Edition) and Dungeons and Dragons (5th Edition).

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