I’ve constantly enjoyed watching Critical Role, itmejp’s RPG sessions as well as other RPG youtube sites.
Yet I have found myself in a situation where I’m looking at this less and less, not because I am being put off by the shows but for a completely different reason…
… I am running my own RPG.
I know this sounds weird but hang in with me.
And no, not because I believe I’m at risk of stealing ideas… well actually… OK I am worried about having outside influence from other GMs but not because of any laws (there are none) but because doing what they do… isn’t me.
Matt Mercer and the Geek and Sundry Team, Itmejp and Co. and Drunkens and Dragons. They are three of the people that I enjoy to watch… however there’s a problem… I’m not out to look for what other people have done. It’s easy to file off the edges and make it into something that works but intentionally but it isn’t fun and there’s a risk that filing off won’t hide the original and if someone’s seen it… well they’ll solve it out of character and be frustrated when their character can’t solve.
At the same time, I’ve found myself watching other things, Extra Credits and their Bloodbourne series, Wil Wheaton and his board games, the new Escape series from G&S. I’ve even broken back into my Studio Ghibli series again… different sources that can offer alternatives to the stories that come from the conventional RPG books. DnD is in the 5th Edition, Cthulhu in the 8th Edition and I’ve played scenarios that are effectively updates of existing material (Strahd anyone?), I could just pick up a DnD book and play it but I’ve experience of playing with custom scenarios and making the effort makes people want to put effort into playing more than a book.
Now I’m not saying that watching these type of shows is detrimental to GMs, however I don’t want to unwittingly be Matt Mercer or Itmejp and I don’t want to be repeating stuff people have already done unwittingly by copying something else.