Crossing the Streams

I’ve had occasion to look in on a few streaming presentations over the last few months, and it’s really opened my eyes to streaming’s potential. For those not in the know. streaming is where people hook up cameras to their computers and broadcast a variety of things using various streaming platforms like Twitch. Twitch is predominantly for gaming, but there are many other types of streams as well, including streaming college and enrichment courses for continuing education.

I’ve recently been caught up in watching gaming streams on Twitch. Part of it has been pure vanity, as several groups have been playing through D&D adventures that I’ve written. Part of it has been the enjoyment of watching people having fun playing games. Most of the groups I’ve been watching are playing D&D in the Scarred Lands setting. Since I’ve been doing a fair bit of writing for the Scarred Lands community content site lately, it provides the perfect atmosphere to help keep my mind focused.

Streams are set up to be more viewer-friendly than walking into a game store or somebody’s house and watching them play a game. For one thing, the arrangement of cameras is important, and all of the streamers I’ve watched are keenly aware of this.

They also are aware that they’re playing to an audience, and do their level best to stay in character. Some groups even go so far as to have the players dress in the style of their favorite character, including armor, robes, make-up, and suitable props. An impressive amount of thought goes into this for most people, and I am continually amazed at how much preparation goes into these streaming performances.

One of the streams I’ve been watching recently is a group called Roll the Role. They broadcast games most days of the week (currently five, with two different games on Sundays) and have a large enough staff of performers that, while there is overlap is participants of many of the games, no one is on every day. These folks have been running a D&D/Scarred Lands game that I’ve been watching every Sunday afternoon. The entire Scarred Lands team seems to possess a great sense of humor, and I find myself laughing out loud during most of their game sessions. I was able to chip in a short adventure to help fill a gap in their schedule, and was gratified at their response to it, as well as watching the live play through.

Another I’ve been watching is Devil’s Luck Gaming and their Saturday night game of Scarred Lands. This game is set in and around the Blood Sea of the Scarred Lands, so it features a strong nautical theme. The players all costume themselves heavily to present their characters more effectively on screen, and I admire their dedication and their costuming and make-up skills. The way these folks are able to stay in character for the entire several hours-long session is remarkable.

307 RPG has been running through a series of connected adventures, and I was part of the group that participated in writing and producing that series. My adventure was run back in September, and it was interesting to see what aspects were emphasized and which were downplayed in order to fit the adventure into two weekly sessions. 307 RPG is currently exploring a partnership with Onyx Path Publishing, playing through a number of their games on different nights of the week. The Wednesday night game has been running through the series I mentioned, including running my adventure, Desert of Lost Relics, a few weeks ago:

Last, but not least, I’ve recently discovered a stream run by a colleague of mine, Rob Wieland, and the Theater of the Mind Players. While I’m not always interested in the games they’re playing, it is always interesting to see what’s being played, who’s in the group for this particular game, and what’s happening.

There are a number of higher-profile Twitch streamers out there. Those folks have followers in the thousands — sometimes even millions — and while I applaud their success and the potential to bring more new faces to the hobby, my intent with this article is to shine the light on streamers who aren’t as well known but still deserve more attention and respect. Watching live-stream games isn’t for everyone, but I hope you’ll take the opportunity provided by the links I’ve included to watch a stream or two and see what you think. It’s a fun way to while away a couple of hours.

One thought on “Crossing the Streams

  1. Pingback: Killing Time | Bill Bodden

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