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Maintaining continuity 
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Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:48 am
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Post Maintaining continuity
When you have an unexpected break in your game, even just a week say, people start to forget stuff.

So, how do you go about ensuring that continuity is maintained and stuff doesn't drift apart when unexpected breaks come up?

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Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:21 pm
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Post Re: Maintaining continuity
I actually have the group recount the events from the last session. This cements a view of past events and also helps tell me what they thought was important, what was exciting and what I should shoot to replicate. Strangely, it has never been "Wow! Remember that great roll I did!" or "We used precise tactic and OOA rules to squash those trolls!".

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Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:35 pm
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Post Re: Maintaining continuity
Previously, I tried to end the session on a note of suspense. First of all, some of my players hated it and I thought it was tough to manage as well.

Nowadays, I try to end a session on some non-dramatic event.

I use this down time to generate treasures, or have the PCs hear a report on TV that they are now wanted fugitives, due to that factory they destroyed at last session's climax. I introduce bits of important data that they will have time to digest, maintain interest for the next session and remind them of what happened in the last session. This is only practical if all your players have internet access regularly. I send them bits of trivia every two or three days. I found that this pace worked for me.

As an alternative, you could use a variation on bluebooking and recording of what happened and let them use the written information as a slight bonus next session. An incentive for them to write down what happened. "Hey, I saved these five villagers last session. Could I get a +1 on my bargaining roll with the village smith? Surely he'll take it in consideration when dealing with me?".

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Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:45 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:36 am
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Post Re: Maintaining continuity
Luckily, we don't have too many games around here that break up for so many weeks that you forgot what happened.

However, a common one adopted around these parts is the saying, "When we last left our intrepid adventurers...". Doesn't matter if it's SF or Pulp or Fantasy, locally this weird catchphrase (from a radio drama maybe?) has been the GM's "call to order" for starting gaming, and summarizing recent events.

Like, the GM will say it, and point to the players, who basically summarize what happened at the end of the last game, chiming in stuff as they remember it.

It's corny, but it's worked. Met people at local cons that I've never gamed with myself, that this little catchphrase got around to as well.

-Andy

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Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:51 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:16 pm
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Post Re: Maintaining continuity
Balbinus wrote:
When you have an unexpected break in your game, even just a week say, people start to forget stuff.

So, how do you go about ensuring that continuity is maintained and stuff doesn't drift apart when unexpected breaks come up?

With my Wednesday group, this is rarely an issue. When we are in campaign, we are gaming pretty much every week with only rare exceptions (like when Games Plus has it's semi-annual auction). Two of us take notes, and between us, we can pretty easily keep track.

Now, this situation comes up more often with my kids. We go long stretches (unfortunately) without playing due to the vagaries of life. The most amazing thing to me is how good their memories are. Month and months after the last session, they correct me when I mention this or that thing. They remember the Inn Keeper's name. We once had weeks, maybe more than a month, between sessions and they remembered exact positions and the very last thing that had happened.

So I've been fortunate in that continuity has not been a huge factor.

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Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:01 am
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Post Re: Maintaining continuity
Depends on the game. We game once a week, so continuity is not really a problem. Here are a couple of methods that we used :

In Harms Way : Each player took turns recounting the previous session. There were a variety of ways this was done. One player read from a "diary" her character was keeping. Another was through letters to the character's cousin. One player had these very cool, soliloquies. But perhaps the most interesting was the player who "broke the fourth wall" and related the previous "misadventure"

Over the Edge : This was based on the fromat of the TV show 24, so I normally did the whole "Previously on The Day of Living Dangerously..." and "The following takes place between...."

Hunter : An unnamed 60's radical radio DJ was narrating the exploits of the PCs. He always begun with "Let me tell you what those crazy hombres did......"

I kinda off choose "continuity devices" that aid in maintaining the tone of the game.

Regards,
David R

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Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:44 pm
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Post Re: Maintaining continuity
I've done Power Point intros before--with fantasy scenes, explanatory text, map backdrops of progression through the region, a good regular theme song to get them back into it ("Promontory" from Last of the Mohicans seemed to work last time), etc.

My next campaign is only meeting every other week (a change for us), so this is going to take a step up in precedence.

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Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:58 pm
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