Discussion 28: The Same Page Tool

A while ago Kevin stumbled across Chris Chinn’s “Deeper in the Game” blog and quickly became a fan. Chris discusses a lot of interesting topics and puts a lot of thought into each post. One entry in particular caught his attention: The Same Page Tool. This was a tool RPG gamers can use before playing a game to make sure everyone is on the same page for what they expect out of this game, with these people. Kevin, Jen, and Troll had just been in a Mutants and Masterminds game with a new GM, and it became very obvious after just one session that we were not all on the same page. We go through the Same Page Tool question by question and discuss the implications of each question, using the aborted M&M game as an example of how it could help.

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10 Responses to “Discussion 28: The Same Page Tool”

  1. Chris Says:

    Thanks for checking out the Same Page Tool on my blog!

    I think Jen had the very accurate point that a good game should answer all of the questions making the whole tool unnecessary. Of course, if you look at a lot of forums where folks talk about games going wrong, it’s easy to see that a lot of games either don’t answer the questions or at least, the answers aren’t being well absorbed from the books.

    In a lot of cases, a lot of gamers have learned only one or two ways to roleplay, and they assume all other games work that way – even unconsciously skipping over overt, and obvious stuff in the rules text, and having the list is my kind of way of highlighting the different ways and maybe getting folks to think about possibilities they may not have seen before.

  2. Rich Rogers Says:

    Thanks for making this episode, I quite enjoyed it. Kevin, I appreciate that you made Jenn aware of her biases and “one-true-wayism”. It really was bothering me that she was so myopic and condescending about other playstyles. I especially like how CJ was able to bring it back to how Jenn enjoyed gaming pre-indie RPGs in the same fashion she derided earlier. Point for CJ.

    The episode itself was an interesting discussion. I have many times considered bringing out the Same Page Tool, but with my face-to-face group, the previous time I had a similar conversation, but structured differently, it was a waste of time. The person who was there to hang out and have fun had no useful input or answers, the others gave pat answers, nobody wanted to dig in and talk about their fun. I felt like it was wasting game time, so I put it aside.

  3. Matt Says:

    Nice work, guys, thats probably one of my favourite episodes that youve done. I went back through and had another listen after it was done, for the entertainment value as well as the subject matter.
    Gave me a lot to think about.

  4. JenjDixon Says:

    I really enjoyed this discussion. I know that I often come off as a “one true way-ist” and I understand that it can rub people the wrong way. I truly do understand that everyone games for different reasons and there is no one way to have fun. I can play games for different reasons and expect different kinds if fun based on the game and the group I’m interacting with.

    The only gaming that I truly think is “wrong” is when the game/group interaction is unhealthy or harmful to the enjoyment of others in the group.

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  6. Seth Blevins Says:

    Thank you Jen! I agree with your views completely.

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  8. stacey chancellor Says:

    Well, once of the nice things about gaming with people that are your friends is that you can be honest with them. Yet, you can do it and now seem like a prick. This was an intersting idea and I can see how it would work, especially if you are going to start a game with people that you either have little gaming with, or none. Now every one of these questions will not work for every group, but I also agree that if you have a group that is burned out…this would help.

  9. Jason Says:

    haha This was funny. Jen is so ripping apart a lot of trad players. XD But I agree. :p

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