Jul 10 2017

Panda’s Talking Games – 66: Emperor Propatine

Show us how you use props in one shots and campaigns! Senda and Phil talk through some of their favorite instances of props and simple costume pieces in their gaming past, as well as some tips for using them effectively in your game and what to avoid. There is also ketchup, Parry Gripp, Sith pandas, Lisa Frank, and the EMPEROR. That’s right. The EMPEROR.

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  1. Paris Conte

    I run games for players with a variety of mental illness and disability challenges.

    Rpg’s can be used to teach many skills and provide an environment of safety to explore and be “yourself”.

    As you can imagine, having a mix of players with a range of daily challenges, like ADD, autism, anxiety and other issues, can make maintaining a table that is inclusive for all participants difficult.

    Instigating rules won’t work, plus the value of the therapy is allowing self discovery vs being told how to do things.

    I use props as a maintaining order tool.

    The players and I make an agreement at the start of a game:

    If the GM screen is up, players know it’s my time to talk and they must pat attention and hold their questions.

    When I put the screen down, it’s the signal for free discussion by the players.

    I have a crocheted pink Cthulhu (dubbed Cutethulu) that is used as a talking stick. The player must be holding the doll to present their ideas and suggestions.

    To be effective, these three elements cycle frequently. I don’t talk for extended periods, free discussion is allowed to continue until it is prudent to use the talking stick; rinse, repeat.

    I use Savage Worlds as the rule set. This allows me to use two other props for benefit.

    For players who are ultra shy to start with, or need a way to feel included while they get comfortable with an RPG, I use the following :

    I have a furry dice bag with googly eyes and felt teeth. Nicknamed “The Benny Monster”, it holds all the bennies. I put a player in charge of it. When ever a player spends a Benny, the whole table sings out “Feed the Benny Monster!”

    I get another player to manage the initiative deck.

    Other props used are custom character sheets with pictures of the dice on them so players can line up the real die with the picture.

    Cards that have actions, weapons and spells on them. These are played on the players turn as a way for players to not only express what they want their characters to do, but makes it easier to understand multi action penalty. It also helps new players know what they can do, and choose and action, without major delays to the game.

    1. Senda

      This is fantastic. Wonderful use of material items to keep everyone engaged and working together. Thank you for sharing!

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