RPG Theater


RPG Theater is the practice of creating an immersive environment that fosters fun high quality role-play using theatrical techniques. Mood is enhanced through the use of sound, lighting, solid handouts, and limited props. This works well virtually for many with immersion coming with good sound and informational and story color handouts delivered via a variety of virtual table tops!

Lighting and sound changes signal and augment changes in the scenes. A dark night scene might be played in a dim blue light with the sound of crickets in the background. When the crickets stop, the participants are sure to notice and worry. Bright light and a dry wind helps to suggest a hot sunny day and dim diffuse light with drizzling rain a dark dreary day. Sound tracks and environmental sound effects also help create a rich environment and subtle mental landscape that are very effective in evoking the feel of the scene.

Good effect can be achieved with a dark room, a simple household dimmer, table lamps, a few flashlights, and a basic sound system. (While not quite the same a good headset and isolated space helps with virtual play.) Some well-chosen background music or soundscape can really help set the scene. It is all about the atmosphere, mood, and having fun!

A Dark Ages table for the Lucid Dreams Role-Playing Engine
Table detail for The Vault a Call of Cthulhu Monograph
Detail for The Opening for the Lucid Dreams Role-Playing Engine
PC flats by ArcKnight for The Heart of the Lich Lord (Savage Worlds)
Urban Shadows (1st Ed) play materials
Final Flight by John Crowe III in progress at SnowCon
Table for Moonglow a Call of Cthulhu scenario by John Almack
The Vault in progress with madness coming soon!
The Heart of the Lich Lord (Savage Worlds) in-person play materials
Table for in-person play of The Heart of the Lich Lord (Savage Worlds)
Lighting board, PA, iPad for incidental sounds, and mp3 players
Table scatter for Final Flight by John Crowe III
Table with rear screen for Homecoming for Lucid Dreams RPE
A stack of game materials ready to get packed up for play
Table with rear screen for a Star Wars RPG at Open Gaming Convention
Dark Streets of Miami, an Urban Shadow RPG via Discord and Roll20
A rare in-person session of a Cthulhu Dark scenario Missing in Egypt
A virtual session of Star Wars: Onslaught at Arda 1 about the begin
A first run of Star Wars: Onslaught at Arda 1 via Roll20 and Discord

The future of role-playing is bright and diversity is increasing. Many gamers are placing greater emphasis on a variety of methods for enhancing the role-playing experience. Game Soapbox Productions hopes to help improve the play experience of many such gamers.