Monday, March 18, 2019

Setting the Social Contract

Over the weekend I ended up in a prolonged exchange with a fellow random internet citizen about their game. The person was disappointed because after putting a lot of effort into their game, having enthusiastic players, and working hard to build those players not only a spot in the game, but a place in the story...only a couple of them were really invested in the game.

I can tell you from first hand experience this can be a crushing feeling. You have all your hopes and effort into the idea of the game. Part of the idea is the return of your effort from the other people. Only...they don't seem that into it.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Discussion: How Far Ahead Do You Plan?

Some GMs will have an entire campaign planned out before the first session. Others won't even know what is going on in this session until shortly before. Most of us fall somewhere in between.

Which kind are you?

I tend to plan ahead a little bit. I like to have the next few sessions sketched out, particularly if I am doing a contained arc. If the PCs are going to a specific location, I'll sketch out the story of what is going on there which gives me guide posts for each session, and then I will flesh out the likely to be hit items before the session. Sometimes I over plan and end up with two or three sessions, but that is hardly a problem.

Just recently in one game I gave the PCs - in character - a teaser for what the entire end of the game is going to be. Once that fully kicks off - soon! - I'm not sure how long it'll take for them to get through it. I just know what pieces are on the board, and how those pieces will be moving.

In the other game, I have things planned to get them out of the current area. Beyond that I don't know. It will depend on what the PCs do.

How about you?

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

When The Adventurers Come To Town

I was reading Stuffer Shack and came across this article. It got me to thinking about my own games, and something I haven't been doing but perhaps should. Like a lot of things in RPGs, they don't flat out say what the impact of certain things are, but they give you the math to figure it out.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Starting on a Bad Note Can Be Good

When Matt Coleville proposed the "Chain of Acheron" campaign to his players he told them that the game would take place after a major defeat for the Chain, and that they would be playing the story of building the Chain back up to face their enemy. He then told his players they would be playing that first defeat. The players showed up for the first session knowing that they were going into a battle that they were going to lose, and lose hard.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Random Gender & Sexuality

On Wednesday I mentioned that I do Gender, Sexuality, and Age randomly when making characters. Today I want to explain how I do this, why, and why - if you're comfortable doing it - I recommend you give it a try.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Let's Build a Character w/ Six Truths & a Player Goal

This coming weekend one of the groups I'm in will be starting a new game. The GM gave a try to the Six Truths method for presenting the world, and I figured this would be a good chance to show how you can use those truths in building a character that should fit the game.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Using "The Rule of Cool"

The "Rule of Cool" is somewhat of an extension of the "yes" rule. The idea here is that as a GM you should never be saying 'no' to the characters in your game. "Yes, and...", "Yes, but...", and "Yes, if..." are ok, but "no" should be avoided whenever possible. The Rule of Cool takes that and encourages you to bend the rules if the thing that is being tried sounds/feels really cool. That said, there is more to it than just "that sounds cool, do it." Today I want to talk about that.