Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Decision Points Are What Matter

I somehow stumbled on this article by the AngryGM the other day, and while it wasn't what I was looking for at the moment it was something I am interested in in general so I took a look. Angry's voice isn't for everyone, but I've found his advice on GMing is generally pretty good, and this article is no different - if a bit long for my tastes. One thing that he mentions that I want to reinforce is just how important Decision Points are to not only an encounter, but to a session and to a campaign as a whole. Honestly, by focusing on decision points and reducing time between decision points it seems you can make your game a whole lot stronger.

Monday, June 17, 2019

You Can Let The Player's Drive The Action Sometimes

When prepping for a game session there can be a lot of pressure on the GM to have stuff for everyone to do. It's pretty much the focus of all session prep advice: how do you prep what to do for the session? And with certain plots you have to make it so they come to the player's attention, entice them to take them, and then know where they go.

However, that isn't how it always has to go. You can let the player's drive the session. And in fact, it can be a good idea to do so on occasion. Today I want to talk about how that works.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Table Craft: The Importance of Session 0

Session 0 is a common term used in communities discussing table top RPGs. For those unfamiliar, Session 0 is the first session of the game that takes place before the game starts. At Session 0 you make characters with the other players (sometimes anyhow), and in general talk about the game before the game gets going.

It is a good chance to talk to the GM and the other players about your character. It lets you set up pre-existing connections with other PCs. It lets you say where you want the game to go. Most importantly, it enables everyone to get on the same page regarding expectations for the game.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

NPCs Should Have Goals

One of the other lessons that I kind of forgot to apply while running the D&D games is that NPCs should have goals.

Yes, I mean that as a blanket statement. Every NPC in your game should have goals. Those goals might be simple. A merchant you weren't planning on but have to run because the PCs went shopping could just want to make money selling their product. But everyone should have a goal.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Play To Your Strengths as a GM!

A year or so ago I wanted to work on some of my GM skills that are emphasized in games different from what I was playing at the time. It coincided with interest in D&D 5e and so I started to run a 5E game. Then from various tricks and twists of life I ended up running a second 5e game.

Now you can run any game any way you want, but the goal of running 5e was to run D&D - something that felt like the D&D games of old - and not my normal type games. So I tried running D&D in what I thought was how D&D was supposed to be run, supported by the books, streams, and even advice sections in videos, reddit, and other blogs.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Discussion: Where Do You Play?

With the talk this week about play areas, I'm curious to know where you play? Do you have a store game? Meet in a bar? Or does one of the players - or you yourself - host the game?

Most games I am in run in my living room. I run two of them, so us playing host is natural. The third game replaced one a housemate ran, and since we already have the stuff here it just made sense. It also helps we have the books, plenty of dice, and a space that is always available because everyone in this house games.

What about you?

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Table Craft: What Your Location Ideally Should Have

When it comes down to it, the beauty of 'table top rpgs' is that with theater of the mind you can run the game about anywhere. With how good digital products are of late, provided you have your character sheet and dice - both of which can be on your phone - you could legitimately run a game of D&D in a car driving across the country. Now, I'm not sure if I would recommend that - especially if the driver is the GM - but you could.

That said, in my experience there are some things that qualify a space as a better gaming space than others. Obviously your mileage may vary when it comes to what works for you and your group, but these are some things you want to consider.