Saturday, February 14, 2009

Spirit of the Century actual play audio

I was searching the Net the other day for some Spirit of the Century (SotC) actual play for a friend of mine who plays in my regular group. He was looking for some well-done audio. Good news: I found some.

A simple Google search brought me to a page on which houses an ample supply of SotC actual play audio recordings. Some are scenes, some are full adventures. They're pretty much all done by Mel White who records the podcast, Virtual Play.

The quality of these recordings is impressive. Most of the other actual play audio I've sampled on the Web suffers from various problems, primarily these three:
  • The mic isn't good and it's really hard to hear everything that's going on
  • There is a lack of focus and players are constantly making jokes
  • The audio isn't edited down to the interesting bits, so you're forced to sit through all the tedium
What I love about Mel White's recordings is that he solves all three problems. His recording quality is good - you can hear all players. He keeps a lot of focus, so the adventure is always moving forward. (Part of this could be that I've been listening to sessions recorded at conventions. I can see where this kind of session would be conducive to game focus, in contrast to a group of buddies sitting around the basement table eating pizza, joking left and right.) While the audio isn't edited, as far as I can tell, it's really not an issue since there is negligible downtime.

But what makes these recordings really enjoyable to me is that Mel seems to really understand SotC. He knows how the game works, and he's good at guiding players to use the mechanics well. Listening to the situations in his adventures improves my own knowledge of the system, which will in turn improve my GMing.

If you want to hear SotC in action, download some of the files I linked to above and enjoy Mel's great work.


Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for the positive comments. I'm glad you enjoy the actual play recordings at the Internet Archive. I'm always of two minds about posting the files for exactly the reasons you mention: sound quality, cross-talk, etc. The quality is uneven to be sure, but I find more and more that I'm glad to have a long-term record of the various games.
Take care,

TimothyP said...

Thanks for stopping by Games on the Table, Mel! And commenting no less!

I am so glad to have well-done AP recordings to listen to. It's very enjoyable. I love how you keep things moving - you're a great example to newer GMs, like me. I also love how well you know the SotC. You're really quick on your feet, which makes it flow well for the players. Great work on these - looking forward to more. I'd love to hear some AP of Questers of the Middle Realms or some other version of PDQ if you get around to it!

Scott said...

I am excited to burn 3 different versions of Rex Rich and the Warlord of Mars to cd and listen to them on a long drive by myself. It will be interesting to hear different players and PC's in the same adventure and also to hear how Mel changes it up in each game. Either way these recordings are a great resource for beginning players and GM's to hear how things really work in game play. Thank you, Mel and those who keep these recordings available.