We run a live play of the Dungeons and Dragons book Ghosts of Saltmarsh on twitch every other Friday at 7:00 PM PST.
We have a core group of four players, with a new guest each session. From time to time, a group of 5 previous guests come together in special all guests sessions.
Here are some of my favorite clips from the stream. Most of these are raw but there are a couple I took from my edited versions that have additional graphics and cleanup.
I match all bit donations, and then the company I work for matches all my contributions, effectively multiplying donations by four. Here’s a supercut of all the donations from a night we raised a ton of money for a charity called Friends of Madrona Marsh.
The following two videos are one of my favorite examples of veering from the book in a new direction. For the first video, we were running out of time for the night and there was no real proper ending for the progress that had been made defined in the book. In an attempt to finish up the night in an interesting spot I just decided that after they killed one of their enemies, ghosts appeared and I left it as a cliffhanger. The players really liked this idea that ghosts rose from the dead whenever someone new died on the ship. In the book, it’s just a regular pirate ship. But I try to keep things engaging and fit in with the players’ actions.
In the next session, they discovered that forcing the ghosts overboard caused them to disappear and move on. They asked the captain about the history of the ship, and once again there was nothing to go off of in the book so I just made some stuff up on the spot.
Later on, a character forced the captain off the boat. As far as I was concerned, this was a normal guy up until the point I noticed the players think something special is up – that he was one of the ghosts himself! So I ran with it and let them think they caused a big event-skipping problem for me, which as a player is one of the most fun things you can do in the game. It’s collectively one of our favorite memories. The players took the ship for themselves and feel attachment to it, and one of the viewers even based his character’s backstory as being one of the ghosts from the ship once he became a guest player.
This is a fun video from a recent session, where we start getting into some Star Trek TNG Measure of a Man discussion about whether a player’s warforged character is alive or not. Some fun moments with a player making a case to the crowd to convince them to her side.
Here’s a clip that is just mundane interaction, but very organic with simple dialog between characters. We don’t usually reveal the map piece by piece like this and have everyone move their tokens in such detail but it sort of just happened and it was nice.
Some of our players like to RP songs to inspire NPCs
I try my best to not bog down the stream full of slow combat and reading/clarifying rules. The book had mechanics for finding a secret path through the dunes, with tons of skeletons initiating many individual battles which could have taken an entire session in itself, and really did nothing for the story. So I turned the cult they were raiding into a dragon cult, replaced skeletons with a skeleton dragon, changed the encounter to happen when trying to escape instead of on arrival, and made rules for a much more exciting real-time rolling activity. The players loved this a lot, and it’s probably the encounter I’ve gotten the most positive feedback about so far.