Why the emphasis on recording play sessions?

It seems that most/(all?) of the planned upcoming gaming sessions will be recorded or the host would prefer to record them. This feels a bit daunting to me after being out of roleplaying for a while, so interested in why there’s an emphasis on recording gameplay. Any background would help me get my head wrapped around the idea. Thanks!


Speaking only for myself, I like to record for a few reasons 1) it’s a more accurate record I can use to prep the next session, I don’t have to rely on notes. 2) I have found the Gauntlet’s library of recordings extremely useful in a few ways. They provide me examples of skilled play that aren’t highly edited or produced APs, I get to see how the game plays out with a generally normal group of players that isn’t really trying to play to an audience outside the table. I can learn about the game from watching the video. It’s also just fun to watch my friends play games. I record to contribute to that library and pay it back a bit. 3)If I’m trying out something new, or play testing a hack, it’s helpful to me to be able review video and see how it went from the outside.

All of that said, if a player doesn’t want to record, I don’t and that’s a community wide rule.


Thanks for your thoughts.

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Agree with everything Jesse said, also

Our memories are not perfect. I played and ran hundreds of sessions in the 90s that are all a blur now.

Since we have the option to record them, we get to keep a copy of the wonderful interactive dynamic stories we create, thus it seems bizarre to me not to record them.

Had one friend who was self conscious about his appearance and wanted a clear divide between his gaming and work life, so we used a nickname and profile pic instead of live video feed for him, worked fine.

Lastly, i’d rather watch or listen to actual play than the predictable capitalist biased garbage on commercial tv any day of the week.

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I’d also emphasise that lots of sessions actually do run without getting recorded, by player request. I like having a record for the reasons mentioned above, but it’s a much bigger priority that everyone at the table feels comfortable and has fun.


What @BlakeRyan & @Jesseabe said but, personally, I like to review the recordings of sessions I run as part of a personal development process as a GM. Sometimes during a session I spot a player’s attention drifting or I’m conscious of my own failure to keep the game moving at the pace I aim for, or leave a session thinking ‘that was OK, but …’. Because I have the recording I can review it to ask ‘what would have been better?’.

Also, as someone who writes games then my sessions are often playtests so a recording to check if mechanics and narrative are meshing as I imagined are really useful. To be honest, those recordings are also helpful in engaging people and illustrating how the game plays in practice … I edited transcripts to put together ‘examples from play’ to include in my last game (Against the Dark Conspiracy).

Playing without video and using a pseudonym is an effective way to separate professional and gaming life, for instance, if that’s a concern.

Finally, the Gauntlet is one of the most sensitive and supportive groups I’ve ever played with, so don’t worry about being a bit rusty or not reaching some sort of ‘performance’ level … this is emphatically not Critical Roll or its ilk.


I actually share your discomfort with recordings and would like to see more sessions on the Gauntlet without recording them. There is this weird element of performing for someone else who is not at the virtual table instead of playing with the people who actually are there that bothers me - although the feeling always fades into the background after playing for like 5 minutes. Personally I only record sessions if I think that there hasn’t been an actual play of that specific game or scenario on the internet.


PS - Welcome and thanks for posting … I should have led with that!


Thanks for all your thoughts.

This helped me better understand this community, for instance the emphasis on designing games and improving being the DM.

It sounds like in many cases the intention of recording is for private review (mostly by those who participate or this community). I have no reservations about that, but the issue is that using YouTube for example is not private. Are most recordings just privately available?

I see where the concept of using a pseudonym / avatar comes from, but I would assume the primary goal is for the enjoyment of those playing the game in that session (?). For me at least, I would like for everyone playing to see who I am and my real name (assuming everyone was ok with that and people were sharing video).

Thanks again.

Yeah I agree.

Although obviously different, it reminds me of taking photos of people while traveling. It often feels like I am shielding myself from actually interacting with the people right in front of me.


I think that’s a great analogy and pretty much sums up why I prefer to play in sessions that are not recorded. However if you don’t want to join games because of privacy concerns, you shouldn’t worry: If you join a game on the Gauntlet and you don’t want the recording of the session to be made public everyone will honor your request.


I’ll also note-- and this is based on reviewing the Calendar and comparing to our video round up-- on average a little more than half the weekly sessions are recorded and posted. That varies, but that’s the overall trend.


As a viewer, I find that being able to watch an actual play of a game is a great way to understand how it plays.

So on those occasions where everyone is up for it being recorded, it is a big help to people like me.