Breaking (Bad) Habits

So in the Brett’s Avalon One Shot thread Mr. Diamond mentioned that he recognized a verbal tick he had after listening to the session. Brett responded saying he has his own he is working on.

I would like to hear B&S pontificate about those (Bad) Habits. What to do? Has recording helped overcome some unwanted habits? What self assessment tools do GMs use when they try to self critique how they run games?

From my own experience I have run 80% of my games for the same crew I started gaming with (in Middle School) and I would like to change my style. It is proving difficult.

Semper Fidelis & Good Gaming All


I’m into it. Although it may be a discussion about recording yourself rather a discussion about gaming. It’s hard to distinguish those 2 things at the moment

What is disappointing about the recording is that this tick, saying ‘do you know what I mean’ as punctuation, was known to me and something that I’d thought that I’d cut way down on 10 years ago.

With regard to my various bad habits, I have quit by forcing the decision to perform the action to be a conscious decision.

My pack of smokes was kept on a table across the room from me, so that I had to decide to get up, walk over to the pack… This have me the time to decide if this cigarette was ‘necessary’ or just habit.

I had cut down on the verbal tick by concentrating on, or running a filter over, everything I said. No stray words means no verbal tick. It is clear to me that I have become less vigilant. It’s a lot of effort.

To turn this back to GM’ing, I’m sure this is the same as using the same house rules again and again. The first time any house ruling comes up it suits the situation and the having group. It is now ok to use this house rule with this same group as they all have that context and that precedent.
If the GM reuses the house rule outside of this group, there is no such precedent.
If a player tries to rely on the house rule outside on this group, he may be disappointed.

Obviously the correct answer is that the DM does whatever he wants and is always right.


I can answer the verbal tick as it pertains to me. I do listen to our show in order to become a better speaker. Whether that is working or not… I think many should do that. “like, you know, like”. Mine was “so”. It still is. But if you’re conscious of it…

As for gaming…that’s a whole different ball game. I think we need practice to be better at it. I’m a far better player than GM. Well, maybe. I am better at playing a ‘role’ than running a game. That’s why I am not a big fan of getting down into the weeds on rules. Even playing, like my Stars Without Number Game, I"m playing Trig Sullah, Expert Pilot. He talks like a southern good ol boy…the. entire. session. I don’t break it unless I genuinely need a question answered that requires me to do so. It actually helps the GM realize, “Sean is asking something”.

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Hey @Glib_Comment,
Another thing to consider is turning your “tick” into an RP element for your character. I have hard time with voices, as both a character and GM. I try, but… I’m not a voice actor - more of a narrator. That can get boring and monotonous. So - anything we can use for some excitement I think is good. No?

@sean - My initial apple podcast review of you guys was way back in June 2019 when I started with Episode 1 (@Fafhrd suggestion). I could readily discern the Wisconsin in you and said in the review that you two talked “funny.” Now Wisconsin “creeps” in less. I am not sure if that was your aim but I think it less noticeable…

I guess my whole angle on this is - With all the remote gaming being done by everyone and using recording as tool, how can we guide ourselves to become the players, GMs and people we want to be. Or as doggy @sean might know “Be All You Can Be.”

Hooah or better yet Ooh Rah!

Semper Fidelis and Good Gaming All

I think we tried to touch on this in one of the most recent ‘gaming online’ episodes where you have to keep in mind other things than just the tech. It’s letting other people speak, staying engaged, etc. Not sure ‘speaking well’, while valuable, is something that falls to our topics. It’s like going from TTRPG to speech class.

As for our Wisconsin accent. I’d have to relisten to those early episodes. I know Brett is quite obviously out of his comfort zone, but not sure if our “hey dare” or “dontcha knows” is better. I think our accents aren’t as bad as ‘da folks up nort’. For the record, I was born in Connecticut, and got here when I was about 4/5, so I may have some accent, but i didn’t learn to talk in Wisconsin. LOL.