Have you ever sat down with a new boardgame or even a new story line for your favorite RPG and contemplated on how you are going to “sell” your friends on the game? Chances are you have done this very thing on many occasions. Let’s just hope you were successful in this endeavor. Making that first impression is challenge and if you come off wrong, you will turn off your friends from what it is you are trying to lure them into playing and liking. Recently, I went through this and I am happy to report the results have been positive and successful thus far.
Recently, I started a VoIP game of the Tomb of Garn Pat’uul (Gygax Magazine #3) using the Labyrinth Lord rules system and not having run an online game before I was rather nervous. The players seem to be enjoying themselves and have come back for several sessions and another session is lined up for later this month. One thing I did to help set myself up for success and come across with a good first impression was to engage with prospective players on a personal level. I personally invited each to the game; I want them to feel like they were important to me as friends, but also as integral part of the story pitch I presented. Another thing I did was to establish the virtual tabletop at Roll20 prior to the start of the game. I wanted my players to know that I had put time and effort into the game preparations. Ultimately, I want them to know I cared enough about the game and our virtual time together to make it worth their time to come together to play the game with me. All of this combined together helped me to shake off the GMing cobwebs quickly and allowed both myself and the player to feel more at ease and at home at the virtual tabletop.