On the Shoulders of Dwarves
Offplay Decision Making (episode 79)
### What do we mean when we say Offplay discussions? (00:30)
When we say offplay discussions in this episode we mean instances where the players are discussing the events that happened in-play and what to do next but as players and not necessarily as their characters.
There are two prevalent approaches to offplay discussions: In some gaming parties it totally OK to stop the action and go over everyone's equipment, spells list and abilities to decide on the best strategy and coordinate. In others, it is frowned upon because the party does not have the time to consult with each other and prepare the tactic.
### Reasons in favor of including offplay discussions (04:10)
- Player motivation; some people just like to plan (see [Eran's post on players motivation](https://www.uptofourplayers.com/2017/06/planning-player-motivation-uk-games-expo-review-podcast/))
- Use "You can't talk amongst yourselves now. You! What do you do? Act!"; to create confusion, doubt, and anxiety.
- Help to remove some of the out of character time that passed in the real world.
- Simulating experience: the players are portraying an experienced team. Part of the players' discussion makes up the knowledge gap between the players and the characters.
- Allow players more space to collaborate.
### Reasons against including offplay discussions (09:10)
- It can take ages (See our [episode on Analysis paralysis](https://dwarves.podiant.co/e/analysis-paralysis-episode-57-3720bb91c87f88/))
- Pushing out of SOD - talking strategy with your friends is necessarily an OOC activity, pushing you out of your character's mindset and the immersion.
- Might be a bit too helpful - the GM is only one person, can't cope with the strategic capability of a whole table.
### Finding a balance (14:35)
Accept that In a party where there's an actor, they'll infuriate the strategist, and vice versa.
Perhaps Introduce spells/cybertech which allow quick communication.
Make (most) enemies 'regular', so that the cost of a non-optimal solution isn't high.
How to do both: add mechanic, Roll for innuendo, Number of words, or discuss and you only hear every other word.
### Summary (19:55)
Know thyself - All of you know what your party enjoys and the GM knows what kind of mood and atmosphere she is trying to set up. offplay discussions are a tool to create that magical balance point between the two.
### Taking the load off (21:30)
Eran - finishing adventure 1 of Hell's Rebels
Uri - Running an introduction to D&D 5e to a bunch of new players ("a million dragons") + Writing his own adventure "Escaping Thalamus's Lab"
Brought to you by Eran Aviram of On the Shoulders of Dwarves