Effective Communication with your Players

This post isn’t just for DMs but also for you game organizers.  Sometimes that’s the same person but in the case of D&D Encounters, it might not be.

I’m going to spoil the end of this post – I am not having a great time communicating with my players.  When someone comes into one of our local stores to play D&D Encounters, I ask them “Do you have a DCI card?”  If not, I give them one so I can report their attendance.  It’s just a part of the system and they’re cool with it.  I’ll even mail the damn thing in to save them a stamp and a trip to a mailbox.  I also ask them for their email address – which they all give me without fail.

So, what I do is add their email addresses to a distribution list and then send out various bits of, what I consider to be useful information- game recaps, reminders of the next session, hints on what they need to bring if they’ve been gone for a while, when to level up their character and various other topics like upcoming big events at the D&D table.

I am very careful not to be excessive in sending my emails and I try and make them fun to read and not a chore.

It really doesn’t matter.  I don’t think anyone reads them.

I ask them at the table – “Did you get my email?”  “Uh, no.  I don’t read my email.” “I don’t have internet right now.” “I only get to read emails when I’m here at the store or the library.” 

Then one wiseacre will chime in, “I read it!”  Really?  Is that why you don’t have any dice and don’t know what level character to bring and also you didn’t bring a character?  Great.

So, I’m looking into leveraging my store’s Facebook page.  It seems there are some pretty active people on there but whenever I go they’re talking about other games and not D&D Encounters.  Which is fine, hey, I’m glad people are shopping at this store.  But I go ahead and dive into the fray and post Encounters updates there. 

Nothin’.

I even created an event for Worldwide Game Day and posted “Hey, come RSVP here.”  Apparently, kids these days don’t know what RSVP means. 

So, here’s my advice to you. 

Ask your players how they want to be communicated to and if they’re going to respond.  If they say they won’t, punch them in the nuts.

I hope this helps. 

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About Jason

Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/priesmeyer Why should you follow me? 192 spambots can't be wrong- I've got something to say and it's pretty darned interesting. Topics include: D&D, Xbox gaming, Microsoft stuff, anti-Apple slandering and ranting, heck- the list goes on. But no, I don't want to win a free computer by clicking your link. Damn spambots...
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5 Responses to Effective Communication with your Players

  1. Matt Savage says:

    Time to embed the “get a free +2 to a roll of your choice if you reply to this email” in the middle of a paragraph. Don’t worry about your game’s legitimacy being effected – your silly little cards already do that.

    After one player gets his +2, never do it again. The little munchkins will keep checking the email just in case.

    Or, you can try the “Matt is a dick approach” – give all background info and pertinent information in the email. Start the session at the first decision point. If they ask you what they’re doing, who an NPC is, etc – just answer “that was covered in the email”. Watch ’em pull out their phones to read it then. Then dock ’em rolls / gold / XP / dignity / whatever for holding the game up.

  2. Matt Savage says:

    Tomorrow night, I’m DMing and Jason’s joining us. I’m sending out email to “effectively communicate with my players”.

    I just want to point out that Jason just asked me for information that was contained in one of this week’s emails.

    :*

  3. Jason says:

    I’M GOING THRU A LOT OF STUFF!!! MY CAT COULND’T POOP AND IT COST ME $460!!! NOW MY A/C’S OUT! Coincidence?!? Yet another Mystery of the Unknown!

  4. Matt Savage says:

    I am now applying the “constipated” template to all monsters.

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