Jun 05

Faculty Meeting # 47 – Villainous Cut Scenes

villianHello and Welcome to Faculty Meetings: The general advice and discussion podcast from The RPG Academy where we discuss topics from our table or yours

I am Michael and this is Faculty Meeting # 47: Villainous Cut Scenes.  In this episode we didn’t start out with the idea of talking about Villainous Cut Scenes, it just sort of happened  – say it with me – organically, from our conversation.


We started off to talk about two issues/questions sent in to us. The first is about using a monster that is likely too powerful for the PC’s to face just yet (why you would do it, and ways to make it work) and then we wanted to talk about situations when the DM runs a PC along with the party (why you should do it, and how it might not work).


Big thanks for our listeners sending in great questions and topic suggestions.



Thanks for listening. As always, comments and feedback are welcome.




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    • That One GM on June 6, 2014 at 9:55 am
    • Reply

    Maybe you guys should make Synergy a feature on every podcast, since it’s such a popular feature of Table Topics (nee Dungeon Talk). You could even delve into older Magic cards at random if you don’t want to buy a booster pack every week. I know it’s a time-sink, so maybe you could separately theme each Synergy or create Synergy sub-features where fewer cards are used or create a single adventure or event rather than a whole campaign.

    1. That One GM,

      It has been a while since our last Synergy. We wanted to a few episodes in between them (it felt for a while that was all we were doing) but it’s probably been too long. Our next episode is already set, so maybe TT 49 will be the epic return of #Synergy!?!?!? If not, we will do another episode soon.

      I like the idea of maybe cutting out specific cards to do a set encounter, so maybe we’ll try that. But 3.99 A pack isn’t a terrible investment. I’ve considered taking the Rare cards and using them in some fashion as a reward for Patreon backers, so they don’t go to waste.

      Thanks for listening and the comments.


  1. I’ve only been listening for six months or so, but this episode was hands down my favorite. TONS of concrete, specific ideas got me brainstorming like never before – I’ve never wanted to world-build and plot-create so much! More like these please 🙂

    And keep it up!

      • Caleb on June 8, 2014 at 11:12 pm
      • Reply

      Thanks for the kind words Kurt! We are striving to crank out more content like this. I always enjoy hearing that our work is encouraging you to try new things and dig deeper into your game. Please let us know of any successes or problems that arise! We’re always here to help.

    • Donald Fergus on June 6, 2014 at 3:33 pm
    • Reply

    My group has had a lot of success and enjoyment with this kind of thing, the villainous cut away. How I like to do it in my games is by writing stories in between games. We call them D&D Mails. As the DM, I write stories and events that are happening outside of the characters view, often involving villains they have encountered or will encounter. By writing these scenes on the side lines, you get direct control over what is revealed and what isn’t. Since they are stand alone stories, there is no trouble with in game randomness.

    It’s great fun for everyone, opening their email and discovering a huge scene set in their game world. It’s also a fun way for the players to expand their characters. I’ll send out a story, and the players always reply with their own stories, especially when the characters are in a down time portion in game. The players get a deeper understanding of the world around them and the personalities of the NPCs, and the DM gets a whole collection of player generated story hooks and expanding back story to play with.

      • Caleb on June 8, 2014 at 11:15 pm
      • Reply

      This is an awesome blend of IRL and PbP. I like how you use this idea to flesh out the rest of the world around the game. Would you care to share any specific examples?

        • Jerry on June 10, 2014 at 12:16 pm
        • Reply

        I’d love to hear Donald’s idea discussed as part of a future show..

    • Jerry on June 6, 2014 at 4:28 pm
    • Reply

    Michael and Caleb,

    Thanks for using my question(s) as a topic for your show! Some really good discussions and ideas during the show beyond what you already e-mailed me about. For example, I liked the ideas about using cut scenes to show the enemy’s side of things and reminder flashbacks. The beholder with cataracts and a center eye like Mr. Magoo made me snort! Thanks for not revealing my monster race just in case some of your listeners may be in my D & D 4th Ed group.


    • Caleb on June 8, 2014 at 11:17 pm
    • Reply

    Thanks for the great topic suggestion Jerry! Please let us know how it goes. I’m excited to hear about your results.

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