Hey guys, Professor Bill from Comic Book University, and I’m going to talk (write) about the game I’m running for Nerdarchy on Thursdays. Marvel Superheroes Role Playing Game is an old love for many of us, but that’s not the crux of what I want to talk about.
Rather, I want to discuss the audience participation technique I’m employing.
You see, I remember someone talking to Dave about involving the audience as much as possible. I don’t remember who the speaker was who said this (comment the answer below if you know), but I thought this was a great idea. Now the guy didn’t give any examples, but just the concept was fantastic, and it really stuck with me. Then Dave called me out in the chat and dared me to run an MSHRPG game for him and some peeps.
What’s funny is that the story came to me pretty quickly. I initially thought of a trilogy and then quickly thought of a way to make it nine stories broken into three chapters. Also getting players to be their own heroes without just assigning them pre-existing heroes or allowing them to pick their own.
This, I thought, would get boring quickly. They would have to play the characters “the right way.” No one would believe an Iceman who just went around killing people or an Iron Man who didn’t think out a solution rather than just blasting everything with his repulsors. So, sending them into the world as themselves was a fairly easy decision, too.
Rather, it was the audience participation that weighed heavily on me.
I mean, why would people want to watch a game that doesn’t involve them? There’s not much of a participation rate if you’re watching and there’s no involvement. When I’m doing my own podcasts (live on Saturdays on YouTube at 10am or 12pm, Comic Book University -cheap plug) I talk with the audience all the time. I don’t let a single comment go unmentioned and I make sure to call on the person by name, because it’s a good feeling to be involved in a conversation and have your opinion heard and mentioned.
So, how could I turn this participation that I foster to an RPG? That’s when I came to the revelation that I could just call on the chat to play some of the enemies in the game. I know there’s a delay, so I make sure to call on audience members as soon as possible to give the chat time to hear, respond, and get their ideas ready.
There’s a bit of quick-thinking necessary on my part (minor pat on the back) because I have to adapt to what the chat member wants to do, find a way to combine it with what the other members called upon want to do, and make it relevant to the game.
The bank scenario was probably the best part so far. I had five bank robbers with a hidden agenda, so I needed to control the leader, but the other four I surrendered to the chat. I told them what the bank members had as far as equipment and let them do what they wanted. No one had dice on them, so I had to roll for them, but we had attacks flying and threats made and intimidations delivered.
All-in-all I’d call that dangerously productive. And that’s important to me. It’s why I wanted participation on the building of my character for the Open Legend game I’m in on Fridays with most of the same Nerdarchists. It’s the same reason why I wanted your participation in building the city map for the same game (I can’t wait till we get to play in that city).
I have a few other ideas planned for how I can get you guys involved in the Marvel game if you’re watching the chat, so by all means, bring your d10s and be prepared to participate.
Comic Book University