Due to my love for both tweeting and gaming, I’ve been dubbed the court reporter of D&D. I’ve been asked if my GMs are okay with me live tweeting, if my games are really that funny, and Dear Lord what are you doing over there. To attract similar accolades and horror as a court reporter of D&D, this is my short and sweet primer on live tweeting games.
1. Get the blessing of your table.
If your GM and your fellow players are not okay with tweeting at the table, don’t. Respecting your table is an entire post of its own, but this is your first step on the path to live tweet glory.
2. Establish some guidelines.
Do people want you to hashtag their names to things they say? Use their twitter handles? No attributing at all? There may be a general consensus or even no consensus at all. I sometimes tag quotes with their sources, but often don’t to simply save on characters. I do try and hashtag the game system (D&D, Mage, etc) the sub-type (Dark Sun, Eberron, Sorcerer’s Crusade) and sometimes the chronicle title (the Skype M:TA hack I’m in is called Aethertide.) Learn what your table is and isn’t okay with you quoting, and unless someone likes or can take being teased live on the internet, play nice in your tweets. Don’t be a dick.
3. Know your device.
I’ve live-tweeted from other people’s mobile devices, my own phone, and a laptop. The easiest by far is my phone. It’s very little hassle to tweet off the app and then drop my cell so I can roll dice. Pick the option that is the least distracting for you and your table.
4. Narrative or quotes.
You can post narratives of what’s going on “…aaaaand now we’re fighting twelve orcs.”
Though, you can also go for quotes. “We’ve found the shitty town where you’re a folk hero.” Quotes go fast and generally get more retweets, but a snappy narrative can get good laughs too. Or prayers for you party; usually simultaneously.
5. Be polite and notify your audience.
If you play in a game, particularly if you play in more than one, some people will learn what nights to expect live game tweets. Plenty of people won’t. As a public service to both, it’s nice to tweet a pre-game “I’ve got my ______ game tonight! Live tweets start in ______.” People who love them know to tune in. People who don’t will now know to mute you.
6. Go for the gold.
Unless you have a group that is wittier than a Writer’s Room, only tweet the best of your session. It took me time to get a handle on what would be a crime not to tweet, and what could be let go. I try not to quote myself or talk too much about my own characters, but I will do either if it’s an intense night at the table for me. It gives me a small way to take a deep breath and dive back in without derailing my table too often with my need to go “Damn, you guys, this is a really terrifying scene” or “This is so touching. There is something in my eye.”
7. Include a visual aid.
Last but not least: people like visuals. Roll a host of amazing rolls? Someone have a catastrophic failure they’d like to share? Tweet a photo. Other enjoyable photographic aides include amusing entries on character sheets, minis in dire peril on a hex map, and the awesome receptacles you and your friends carry your dice in.
Have a favorite court reporter of table-top or LARP on twitter? Share in the comments!