Monday, April 1, 2013

The caller - a man with many hats?

I listened to a podcast some weeks ago, and no longer remember which one. It brought the idea to the fore to do something with the Caller. You remember the role of the Caller? Personally I have never used it, and it sounds very boring to those of us who love to talk in character and do the immersion thing in roleplaying. But, maybe it's a necessity when running parties of 12+ individuals. I've heard voices both agreeing and disagreeing on that.

Now the idea was that even if we no longer seldom have those clearly defined roles in the party, we often still see specific individuals do certain things. If you have played one of the later editions of D&D, you have probably quite soon found out who in the player group is most engaged in the tactical details on how to move around on the battle mat. Probably you have also found that when it comes to charming a guard to let you get by and take a peek at the cardinal's papers, a specific individual is always there to do it. I bet that's true regardless of whether you act it out or just roll and die.

Maybe sometimes you might as well have a Caller? Maybe you could have three or four of them, for tactics, interpersonal conflict or for summing up the revenue and planning the mortgage payments on that starship? I know for a fact that some of those activities leaves me cold, while I know some people love them. Maybe that's the way to make some games work, when there's some activities that might hold the group off a game because one player refuses to do that part. Maybe it might be a good idea to have multiple "Callers" for those roles?

Maybe that old idea does have some legs after all. What do you think?
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