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So this started a long time ago, when I was more or less teaching tohe group about the game, but it never died off. At the end of a run we'll go through a little out of character Q&A about the run, sort of the mechanics and how and why certain things happened. For example in the "My Name is Legion" scenario in Brainscan while they were planning the hit on the yacht they kept on running in to squads of Cross agents. They were totally mystified as to how Cross kept finding them, they checked for tracking devices, magic, and physical tails. They even accused the fixer of selling them out. At the end I explained to them Cross was finding them the same way they find people, contacts and legwork. The team was a little to noisy and nosey, and just a little careless when they checked out Poison Ivy's apartment (they were photographed by a Seraphim agent). In short all the Seraphim had to do was show the picture and spread around a little money and they got updates on what the characters were up to. Now I've got a group that is good about keeping in character and out of character knowledge separate, if you're group doesn't this could cause real problems. Does anyone else do the OOC debrief at the end of runs, or do you like to keep your players in the dark?
James McMurray
Sometimes I find myself havign to explain how things happened to avoid players thinking they happened "because the story said they would." Usually things stay in the dark.
Hmm, I think making OOC debriefs can really, really enhance group experience, since you explain why you, the GM, reacted the way you did to their actions. If they understand that, it'll help put everyone on the same page as to what expect from NPCs and such, which IMO is a crucial thing and is often the source of most GM headaches.

On the other hand, if you explain everything it does sort of detract from the atmosphere. Explaining is no good for paranoia, which is actually really funny.

But I think the pros may outweigh the cons. The times I decided to explain certain things, it seem to clear up so much stuff. I think I'll try to do it more now.
SL James
I like that, and I've occasionally done OOC debriefs after my games end.

I've also been doing a lot of something similar, although instead of debriefings I've been discussing OOC elements of a campaign with my players (usually individually, since the campaign is separated into [right now] eight mostly individual parts) about where the campaign is headed and discussing setting and other things in an OOC context to make the IC stuff more cohesive and interesting. I've laso been incorporating fiction that they'd only know about OOC into the campaign (mainly to show I really do have this thing plotted out) even so far as to predict future events. It keeps them appreciating the scale of the game OOC as well, which helps because there is already a lot of scale to go around. But I guess I'm just blessed in having players who, after seven months, have very successgfully maintained that OOC/IC wall.
I typically don't do anything OOC until the end of a story arc/campaign. After runs? Never. Spoils the fun.
the best roleplaying campaign I ever played in was a 3rd Ed Shadowrun game.

After every run we would have an OOC debrief, where we would discuss what happened in the run, how the GM thought we might have solved the problem vs how we did solve the problem, what would have happened had we done things different.

It really helped us learn to play, and gave us a really rich understanding of the campaign world we were playing in (Sydney, Australia).
Oh. Sorry. Yeah, I do that with newer players (and more experienced ones if they ask).

I meant I didn't reveal anything pertinent to the story OOC.
i've had a specific GM do this sort of thing in multiple genre games. it was rather a "what did you learn?" per each player separately. as long as there was time allowable we did it after ever session -our chance to explain how we saw things unfolding. the GM, himself, never telling us whether we were on the right track or not.

as he explained from the inception of this method, this gave him the opportunity to judge the direction we might take in our next courses of action and better prepare each game session. As players, this benefited us by keeping the game level to our competency (and some of us werent...); the GM having neither to lead us through it by 'hand-holding' nor pose what might seem an insurmountable obstacle -unless, of course, its supposed to be. it kept the games alive and running (pardon the pun)... and most importantly, enjoyable.

this method forced/enticed us to pay attention during gameplay to things beyond how much ammo we had left. at the end of the Run/adventure we were awarded extra experience depending on how we demonstrated what we learned. basically, everyone benefited.

"WDYL?" was done on a 1-on-1 basis, more easily ensuring player insights werent plagerized.

as done on an individual basis, players could express things they might be withholding from the others... okay granted its a one-sided open-air forum, but sometimes verbalizing a line of thinking helps to reevaluate it.

right or wrong, the effort the player gave in his/her insights were what counted towards the bonus experience award. -of course, those on the right track were a mark above.

theres more i could say about it, but its late and my mind is wandering more than usual. all in all, i've experience and enjoyed this technique. i had considered posting "WDYL?" in a different topic string, but it was late in the day then as well and as i typed through it things became less and less coherent. dead.gif

Works both ways. As a GM, I'd like to know where the characters want to go with the story, what their intentions are so I can plan for it, that sort of thing. Plus, it's a place where players can say things like "No, my character hates what's happening to him, but I think it's cool." or "When I tried this plan, here's how I thought the bad guys would react." Debriefs provide food for thought on both sides of the screen. Besides, I don't think that players having OOC knowledge is really a bad thing. For one thing, they should be able to ignore knowledge that the characters don't have, and it also makes up for the fact that the characters would also have knowledge that the players don't, tiny clues from the environment that don't make it into the description, intuitive conclusions, that sort of thing.

But of course, all things in moderation.

Debriefing - hell, I'd never thought of it that way smile.gif

I tend to discuss gaming sessions that we'd just gone through (I'm the DM/Gm/God/Whatever) in a purely informal manner - since I have a LOT of gaming virgins at the table (Maybe half haven't got to 2nd base yet) they and I have found it invaluable.

Sure, there are some uselessly funny situations when the player is trying to butt their way through a problem ("He's not talking...and I have a shock glove built into my cyberarm...hey, wait, can I torture people?"*) and through more luck then anything else succeed... But the majority of them listen to the shop-talk because it IS so useful.

Sure, you may have a rather ripped character with a CHA of 8, but why does the fugly Troll get the sweeter cut of the deals? The ins and outs of background skills, character development, where to get good in-game porn (I am writing these runs up, half the time I don’t believe how well these guys adapt) or what it actually means to initiate – unless they can make the connection, half the time they’re just along for the ride until they hit something they can use.

Decreasing the learning curve is good for grabbing their attention – you don’t dumb down the game though, just make it easier.
[ Spoiler ]

Looking at what I’ve written, it’s not so much a debrief – although they do ask some pointed questions as to where all those NPC’s came from – as a discussion on how the game played, and how well they did. A lot of that is how much they learnt and how much they put what they know into use.

So debrief, but leave some secrets. Pay no attention to the elf behind the curtain.

* So you know, in my games the answer is "Yes" - but whatever they do to people, I will allow the opposition to do to them. smile.gif This has come to really reinforce the learning curve when it comes to the indiscriminate use of heavy weapons. Although the first guy with a tricked-out Machine-gun is in awe of what it can do.
Daddy's Little Ninja
Usually after an adventure was done the GM would confirm/explain what happened. We would justify it by saying that the players were able to sort it out on their own. To use the example at the top of this thread, it could be like you stop off at the stuffer shack andthe clerk askes "did that guy flashing your pic around find you?"
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