How would I get more people playing RPGs? Me?
I am seriously not wanting to sound at all smug here, but I am going to reply, somewhat immodestly, “by doing what I have been doing this last five years.” Primarily by hosting a podcast about RPGs, secondly by recording (some, not all) our games and sharing them on another podcast feed. And more recently by streaming some of them, live on YouTube (and Twitch, but I don’t really care about Twitch).
Now I am not going to argue that any of these are any good. (Well, I am quite proud of podcast.) In fact my point about the actual plays, both podcast and on YouTube, are not great. They are not entertainment. Some people are entertained by them, I hope, but we don’t try to make them entertaining for the audience. We simply share the things that entertain us as we play.
We have two principles, to play (to the best of our ability) the Rules as Written, and to edit only lightly, so we don’t chop out much of the side banter, and we never re-record anything. We want the experience of the audience to be as close to sitting at the table as we can make it.
One reason for this is, we are lazy. But the other is slightly more principled. I worry that great shows like Critical Role are too good. I want to show that anybody can play games, you don’t have to be Hollywood voiceover artists, supported by prop makers, sound engineers and costumiers. I want to show you can sit at the table, with the rule book at your side and with your friends, you can make an adventure together.
And I know it works.