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The Caller in D&D


Retired User
I've used it (to a degree) in larger games, with more than 3 or 4 players. Just makes it easier than everyone shouting out constantly.

Masked Cucumber

Registered User
Validated User
Nope, but we parody it all the time at our games.

Often, one of the players will say "and X's character will walk into the basement by himself". The player in question will then look up and go "eh!". We then all laugh.

We are all easily amused...

I remain,

The Masked Cucumber


Registered User
Validated User
Yes in fact we used two. In my first year at college the Roleplaying society for some reason had 14 players and one GM. It needed the callers to communicate successfully with the GM.

Two sessions later the two groups ended up fighting it out. Presto there was soon 6 characters, and more sensibly we started two games......

Old Geezer

Active member
Yes, we did. It's still my favorite way to play.

It was part of our 'simulation' of a dungeon. Any OOC chatter would be heard by wandering monsters.

The best gaming I ever did was still six people in Gary Gygax's study, all tense as a piano wire and all but the caller and ref silent as Death.

But the 'caller' never 'vetoed' a player; when actions were needed the ref asked each person individually.



4th level Code Monkey /
1st edition AD&D.

First game of the semester.

Too many players, not enough DM's. I had to run a table with SIXTEEN PLAYERS. I invoked the caller protocol for the first time ever or since. Actually, I think we broke the groups into two groups of eight and had one caller per group.

It was still insane, but a lot less than it could have been.


Optimistic Anti-Hero
Validated User
Wow. I'm downright amazed that a few people here actually tried this. Nobody I've ever known personally has ever paid the slightest bit of attention to the idea of a Caller. I'm sorta' glad to see that this concept really did get some use!

I've always just found it goofy. I mean, as the GM, I'm sitting right there, listening to my players. If Jen says that her thief is going to creep down the hallway, I don't really need Jeff to repeat to me that Jen's thief is going to creep down the hallway.

Plus, without a Caller, there's no excuse for you not communicating what you wanted to do. If you were standing in front of the proton torpedo rack when the warhead detonates, you can't blame it on the caller, who "must not have mentioned to the GM that you were moving away from the torpedos, even though you very clearly told the caller that", etc.


Despair Shouter
Validated User
Yup. We started out using a caller and a mapper. It was in the DMG, so we figured it must be important. We soon ditched the caller, since when playing with just four people it wasn't really necessary.

Still, the idea has a lot of merit, and I've enforced it later when playing e.g. Mechwarrior with 12 players or running AD&D for 14 teenagers. With Mechwarrior and other military games it also has the advantage of simulating issues of rank and command. It's an RPG tool like any other, which fits some games and does nothing for other (most) games.


Golden Wyvern Adept
Validated User
I guess we've used this, very, very informally. We'd never actually call it a Caller, but there have been many times in games that I've run or played in that one person tells the DM what everyone is doing. This is normally after a bit of discussion, and the DM has one person sum up what people are doing, rather than asking each player in turn, "and what are you doing now?"


Are you mochrieing me?
Validated User
I don't think I've ever formally used a caller in D&D or any other RPG, but sometimes it has come into play organically in a game, particularly if a group is executing a fairly defined mission.


Press 'Play' to Scarlet
Validated User
This thread is confusing me. I have never heard of it referred to as 'Caller'. I remember it as being simply 'party leader'. How did I miss something like that?
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