I liked the shameless post to Twitter and you are correct spreading the word might be a good idea to get some more folks over here.
I was always happy to have the forums for general game talk but we seem to get it in fits and starts and it never seems to get to a point where it is consistant. We need to achieve a critical mass so the site chat keeps going on its own.
I think we have a much better community feel than places like RPG net and EN World but they seem to have a volume. What do we think we need to do?
My somewhat off-the-cuff suggestions:
1) More content on a regular basis. There needs to be a variety of groups and games to engender interest in new listeners/visitors. If I'm not mistaken, the three longest-running campaigns on RPGMP3 are Pathfinder.
Variety of content is good, but personally, I think that a regular posting schedule is more important. Several other podcasts (both RPG actual play, and others) publish shorter episodes, but on a weekly basis; often, they'll record a 3-4 hour gaming session and then divide it into multiple episodes of 60-90 minute length, which allows them to maintain a regular posting cycle, even if they aren't able to game and record every week. A regular, reliable release schedule ensures that people will be coming back every week for the new episodes, and there's constantly new content for them to discuss. That goes a long way towards keeping the visitor numbers up. It wouldn't take much more editing work to cut a recorded episode into two parts rather than releasing it as a single mp3, and Hal could delegate some or all of the work involved in editing/tagging/uploading to the other staff members, e.g. Lockhart & Thing, who could take turns doing it.
2) More one-shots and short(er) campaigns. I'm as guilty of this as anyone, but it's pretty hard to start listening at "episode 29". I'm looking at the latest uploads, and with the exception of Black Swan and Demolished Ones, they're all in the 20-30 episode range (Shattered Star, Jade Regent, Dragon's Delve). Happy Rocks is only at episode 9, but that has the problem of following (far) behind the "official" RPGMP3 Shattered Star.
That's very true. It might also be easier for the GMs and players to record one-shots than ongoing campaigns, because they wouldn't have to worry about maintaining continuity, either. One of the players can't make it this week? That's fine, it's a one-shot! Nobody can remember exactly what happened in the last campaign episode, because it's been ages since we played and nobody had time to catch up by re-listening to the recording? Okay, we'll just play a one-shot!
don't have enough suitable systems for a steady stream of one-shots (which, considering their continuous bragging about the huuuge
size of their... gaming collections,
shouldn't really be a problem), I'm sure the site community could come together and suggest some free RPGs worth playing. (Doctor Magnet-Hands
, Lasers & Feelings
4) Non-gaming/campaign material. One word: Geek-a-saurus. Or how about interviews with the various group's GMs and/or players? How about a technical round table discussing recording options, or how to configure Roll20?
Another excellent suggestion. You could take inspiration from some of the other RPG podcasts out there. For example, Fandible and One-Shot Podcast both have non-AP panel debate episodes, released on a just-about-monthly schedule. The former group allows their Pervy Kobolds (AKA Patreon sponsors) to ask questions and suggest topics, which are then discussed in their Geeky Topic, Round Table
podcast. The latter group has a number of regular categories or segments on their First Watch
show, including "Scry & Buy" (what cool games/novels/movies/toys/etc. have the panel members bought/heard about since last episode?), "Knowledge: Arcana" and "Mind Flayers" (e.g. they've recently discussed the nature of creativity and how to apply it to gaming, and some of their experiences with running a tabletop game Kickstarter), and "Random Encounters", where they end each episode by having their imaginary PCs get attacked in camp during the night (hence the show's name, First Watch
) by a monster that they pick by rolling on some random encounter table; they then discuss that monster, giving it a rating based on how impressive/effective it is, make suggestions on how to defeat it, and how the GM could improve it.
Wow, that turned out to be a very large cuff....
That was all very good off the cuff though... I agree with a lot of what is there.
The Patron model has worked for us but we rarely get to a point where we have a large excess of funds and when we do it is usually for upgrading servers and the like.
There is so much free content available these days that I think you may be correct on the new content front. Perhaps it is time to bring Geek-A-Saurus back from the dead and see if we can give is dust off.
What do people think? Would that kind of thing be of interest?
Geek-A-Saurus was great, you should definitely consider bringing it back. (AFAIK, the pilot episode isn't even available online any longer, so unless Hal or someone else happens to find a copy in their archives, it's probably lost to the ages...)