Uh Oh: When Virtual Players Join Face-to-Face Games

Do you have a remote player join your face-to-face group? If so, do you find it hard to keep them involved and engaged?

Master of the 5 Room Dungeon Tom K shared this on the RPT Discord:

“I have one remote player, I need to try and get her to engage more. For the most part she is passive and not talking. In person she was much more engaged.”

The Problems With Mix Medium Groups

In one of my campaigns, a player moved away but everyone still wanted to keep the group intact. So the player became a remote player. But it was quite difficult for them to stay engaged:

  • Couldn’t get everyone’s attention to let them know they wanted to speak.
  • Couldn’t hear or see people well because the camera angle never changed.
  • Couldn’t see the maps.
  • Couldn’t control their own mini.
  • Couldn’t steal snacks from other players.

The group would also forget about the player for swaths of time and engagement would stop altogether.

With all these obstacles, the player eventually dropped. And it was so disappointing!

The good news is, the remote player returned next session, we had an engagement plan, and it worked very well.

The number one thing that helped the most was assigning a player helper.

The player helper:

  • Got the group’s attention when the remote player couldn’t be heard over the clamor.
  • Got the GM’s attention when needed.
  • Moved minis and props on the remote player’s behalf.
  • Pointed the camera as requested.
  • Answered the remote player’s questions and gave them updates on what was going on if the session became loud and chaotic.
  • Reminded us the player was present!

This worked fantastic.

If you have a mixed medium group, and a remote player’s feeling left out, get them a player helper right away.

Have more fun at every game!

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