Monday, April 24, 2017

Adding Tension and Fear

Tension and Fear are two of the hardest things to inject into a game. No matter how much you try, ultimately, your players are aware that they're just sitting around a table and having fun while a game is going on. This can make certain scenes hard when your players aren't the type to fully dive into the game world. However, there are some solutions to the problem.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Better Characters Through Maps

I had a different topic for today, but then I stumbled upon this youtube video. I can't help but share. Who knows, maybe it'll help?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Upkeep: The Bane of GMs

GMing is a lot of work. People will tell you this wherever you ask about taking up the mantle of Game Master. They will tell you about the burden of mapping, building encounters, setting up story arcs, and immersing players in the world you have created. That is all well and good. You can do a lot of it ahead of time, use time before the game is actually running. You build your maps, name your towns, and all that fun stuff. The work I don't see mentioned somewhere though, the one that kills me, is the upkeep work required to keep it all going. Today I want to talk about that.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Discussion: What Story Do You Want To Tell?

We skipped out on Friday's discussion post, so figured I'd post it today. What story are you looking to tell in whatever game you're in? Are you a player? A GM? Does that impact the story?

I'm having trouble figuring it out for me. I'm running two games, and playing in a couple others. As a player I just want to tell the story of those characters and who they are. It's not anything huge. As a GM though...I'm not sure. Like, I know what is going on in my games. Just not sure what aspect of that story is what I'm trying to tell, and what is just the results of the stories the PCs are trying to tell.

How about you? Got anything special going on?

Friday, April 14, 2017

Characters Elevate Stories

On Wednesday I talked about how investing in your PCs and giving them personal stories, or bending your story around their characters, can make for a better game. Today I wanted to share some examples from games I've run and games I've been a part of to show how it works.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Player Investment: What It Does & How To Get It

What's the difference between a level 6 half orc barbarian and Kazdak the Mighty, Last of his Tribe and Avenger of the People of the Elk? It's simpler than you might think: player investment. Player Investment is the difference between having a Character - capital c - and a stat sheet with metrics for how to use it in combat like any other piece in a table top strategy game. That same thing is also the difference between a great game that people will talk about for years, and one that is merely good and may warrant the brief mention here and there. Today I want to talk about that, and how to make your game one of the great ones.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Does Your Bad Guy Have An Actual Plan?

Consider the next session of whatever game you're running. Have any combats set to happen? interactions with antagonists or their underlings? Yes? It's not uncommon. In fact, it's expected in games. Still, I have a question: Do you know why your bad guys are at wherever they will meet the PCs? Like, what are they doing? What role do they have? What would they do if the PCs never showed? Or are the NPCs just there to be XP sponges waiting to be squeezed? Today, I want to talk about it.