E is also for Episodic

From the Dictionary of Fearless Gaming

Hello again, gamers

It’s good to watch another GM do their thing. I love the high strangeness Judd the GM brings to the sessions and how he makes the sessions episodic even when there’s more stuff I think I’d like to do with that session. It feels like watching a season of Fringe, or Cowboy Beebop. It’s a solid session with some potential carry-over into the next session.

Framing episodic sessions is a GM tool powered by skill where the sessions are loosely connected. I feel as we move to more modern shows the episodes become more connected, often picking up very shortly after the last episode -this is not what I’m talking about. The thing to take away is the idea some of our play sessions can be stand-alone, loosely coupled, and separated in time from each other. Playing this way requires the GM to hard frame the next session. As a TV series, each session starts with minimal carryover from what happened in previous games. There is setting continuity, but some time might have passed since the last episode. It doesn’t have to pick up the next beat in time, day, or week And it probably shouldn’t. I’d let players reference previous sessions. I wouldn’t bring it up, but I’d note the player’s references, these are strong player flags of interest.

This is also a useful technique if you are down some players and still want to play. In our Stars Without Number games it made the star sector seem larger, we didn’t stay on one planet long and it can add real depth to play.

Play Fearless, cowboy -Mad Jay.