Monday, June 26, 2017

Running a "Slasher" Game

After the release of the Friday the 13th game, I got interested and went and watched all ten Friday the 13th movies (I haven't watched the remake or Freddy vs. Jason.) Since then, I've found myself intrigued by the slasher genre of horror films. Growing up I could never watch horror movies, but now I find that slasher movies aren't scary to watch. There's rarely any tension or build up of fright, just murders. It also has got me wondering on how to set up the story to run a slasher game. Today I wanted to share my thoughts on that.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Discussion: Dice?

When I started playing games, everyone at the table needed to have their own dice, or a close friend who had pre-approved or pre-loaned dice to you. Touching another person's dice was grounds for a fight, and after the brawl was over you would be the one thrown out for starting it in the first place. Granted, it was a different time. People were a lot more cagey with all their stuff, and you didn't share your equipment list with the people next to you because that was a great way to have your stuff re-purposed into their stuff.

At the tables I've played at lately there has generally been a pool of communal dice. This is normally supplied by the host of the game, but enough of us have enough dice that we can loan them freely to the few without their dice. I specifically keep about 2 pounds of dice in a large tube near the table that are 'public' dice. You need dice? Grab a set or two of your choice from the tube. Just put them back once the game is over.

Basically, I've seen both extremes of treating dice. The groups where you didn't touch anyone else's dice and those where dice were just up for grabs on the table for everyone. Both groups worked fine - though the people who hoarded dice tended to be faster. I'm curious if that's bias or related to something else.

What about you though? Does your group have a strict dice policy? Do you have communal dice? Do people bring their own? If they bring their own, do they leave the sets in the house where game happens or do the dice travel?

Do you have a special set for your character?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pro-Activity Plays

I've had a number of conversations with friends lately about taking over games. In particular, every player in my L5R game has come to me with concerns that their character was "taking over" and getting unfair screen time and plot progression (and damn did that feel good as the GM to hear.) In other conversations it is about one character, and it's usually the player of said character who is concerned about it. The thing about it is, all these characters have one thing in common: they're pro-active.

Monday, June 19, 2017


When debating rulings and rules you'll often see the terms RAW and RAI get thrown around. The two terms are common abbreviations meaning Rules As Written and Rules As Intended, but what exactly does that mean? Understanding this important difference is key to GMing and making rulings because when it comes down to it you need to know if you're more a "as written" or "as intended" type GM or running one or the other type games. Both have strengths and weaknesses, but it's worth knowing them. Today, I want to talk about that.

Friday, June 16, 2017

[Discussion] System You Most Want To Try Again?

We all have our regular games, or the game we're most comfortable with. However, what about the other games? One less in your comfort zone. One that intrigues you, but you're not sure you could actually run it or play in it? A system you tried once, or have heard about, but that's about it?

For me there are two systems currently that hit me this way. The first is 7th Sea which I feel I've never done justice to, but the system intrigues and pulls at me so much that I really want to try and just dig in deep with a small group of dedicated players. I've run 7th Sea once or twice. I've played in a short run game of it, and in a one shot at GenCon. The system has a ton of potential, and I know both games really only scratched the surface.

The other game is Demon: The Fallen (maybe it's the Awakening? not sure) Demon was my favorite game of the Old World of Darkness, though I only got to play it once or twice for one shot sessions. The New World of Darkness has me more intrigued. It reads like a spy thriller, and was described that way to me as well. I have some of the books to read through, but it's one of those games I'd love to try or see run before I tried to GM it.

What about you?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Dusting Off An Old Character

With my L5R game on a scheduled hiatus, this Friday I'll be playing a character that I haven't played in months, if not a whole year or more.This is true for the other players at the table, and for the GM. In a sense we all have the unenviable position of having to pick up for an episode 2 when episode 1 was a whole lifetime - by game terms anyhow - away. Today I want to talk about how you can do that as a player.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Upgrading Your Villains

I apologize for this being brief. I'm still under the weather. Before I got sick, however, I started watching through the Friday the 13th movies. I'm currently up to about 8 - and eagerly awaiting getting to Jason in Space - but watching the movies, bad as they are objectively speaking, has also been educational in a way. See, I had this image in my head of who Jason Voorhees was, how he worked, and how terrifying he was in that regard. So imagine my surprise when in  Part 2, 3, and 4 that wasn't really the Jason I got. Today I want to talk about that.