Friday, January 24, 2020

Quick Building a Kingdom

I'm a big fan of using maps, particularly world maps, as an early part of preparing a world for an RPG. If the game comes with a pre-packed setting then it has likely already done all the hard work for you on world building. All you have to do is learn it. However, when custom building a world you have a lot of options on how to approach things. My preference is to do a broad overview so I have a sense of the whole play area, and then to hyper focus on a small section of that world where the game will be starting.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Running Multiple Games

Running one game is a lot of work. Running multiple games is even more work. It is also a situation I find myself in quite often, and quite often by choice. I'll admit to being a bit of an addict, but at the same time when there are things you want to see happen in games sometimes you have to run them yourself. Today though, I want to talk about a few things that helps when you find yourself GMing for more than one game.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Tool For Consistent Place Names Across An Area

((I apologize for the late post. I legit thought it was Sunday not Monday due to the MLK holiday. Whoops!))

There are a lot of cool world building tools out there. Between the RPG and writing communities almost every aspect of world building is well covered. Which is how I found this video from "Hello Future Me" on how to name places in your world.

In the video he talks about the three types of names a place will get: named after geographical features, named after a historical event, or named after a person or thing.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Discussion: Pre-Written Descriptions

When you buy an official adventure from a company, the adventure comes with sections your meant to just read to the table. These pieces are generally descriptive writing sections that are their to paint the scene for you and your players in your imaginations. Often when doing custom work you designed yourself, I find a lot of GMs don't use those descriptions. The reason? They have it in their head, so the intention is to communicate it at the table to the players.

For years I did the same. I described things at the table as I felt appropriate there. Of late though I've also been dabbling with pre-writing some descriptions. I don't always read the description as written, but I keep close to it. I also find it helps. The page - or screen - gives something to focus on other than my players faces which helps me deal with that anxious/awkward feeling I sometimes get when giving descriptions as a GM. Also, with time to write it ahead of time, read it, review it, and then present it to the group I can be more sure I've caught all the important details.

I am curious about you and your table though. Do you pre-write descriptions to use in your custom content? If no, why not? If so, what got you to start or did you always do it?

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Preparing For Session 1

A first session of a campaign can be a very interesting thing. Few sessions have me as anxious in a campaign than the first session, because a solid first session can set the tone and pace for a game that will carry for a good, long while if not the entirety of the campaign. My personal anxiety over session 1 is helped by how awful I am at beginnings. Still, it always helps to be prepared.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Making An Area Primer

When it comes to setting up a new area for a game, I find writing a primer to be particularly helpful. A primer is a brief overview of important topics for the area that can be shared with the players, but is mostly for myself. Because it is shared with players I keep this to publicly known information, or information that is easy to find out. The idea then is something you can reference to make sure you are keeping to your original idea for the area, and that can also intrigue and hint at potential stories for the area.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Who Can Make A Skill Check?

A common thing I see around a lot of tables - even mine - is that when there is a task to be done, and not everyone is actively engaged with something else, everyone wants to get in on the skill check. If they want to jump in after someone failed a check, you can have skill dogpiling. But I see it happen even without the failure. Everyone is fine with the person with the best bonus leading the roll, but they all want their characters to help.