What drives a “normal” person to take to the wayward life of adventure? Tanners, soldiers, smugglers, musicians, rarely are people born heroes, and even when presented with great power they may not be so inclined to take up the great responsibility. Ordinary people have lives, families, jobs and a status to keep quo, and don’t want to spend weeks walking between death traps for ungrateful clients and nations that will never know their names. It’s dangerous, difficult, stupid, and frankly not a great return on investment. (more…)
Deception is rarely fun for everyone concerned. Ok, so the longer you can keep the grand reveal from your group the more incredible it may be, but in between there’s a long stretch of frustration because people prefer to know things than be kept in the dark.
Ah, but when someone is in on it, then things get more interesting. Bringing someone into the fold makes for an interesting dynamic, pitches the group against one another in the best possible way, and can make for a few rather interesting story moments that will leave your group exchanging dirty looks at one another for years to come. (more…)
I use the term DM or Dungeon Master to describe those running role-plays because my preferred set of rules is Dungeons & Dragons, but I’ve dabbled in many a game system, discussed others at length, and even made some efforts into making my own. With the explosion of diversity in rules spanning genres, creating worlds or plunging players into worlds they’ve always wanted to explore, but so often you’ll find there’s something missing, or that your chosen campaign doesn’t match up with the rules at hand.
Themes and plots are easy enough to run in the open, but it’s no small task to run one in secret while subtly eluding to it so that the great reveal is a moment of realisation, not confusion. Your hidden villains, impending perils and heartbreaking plot twists become so much more satisfying to both you and your players when someone compulsively yells “I knew it!” because it mean that you’ve foreshadowed well.
I’ve been delaying this one because I’ve not had a great deal of practice, and the best examples I have are all from games and films, so I encourage anyone who has had experience of foreshadowing in an RP, good or bad, to share in the comments or on Facebook. For what it’s worth, here is what I have come to learn of how to foreshadow well. (more…)
It’s been a long time…
There’s no point in orchestrating every little event in the world, it’s a lot of work for next to no reward, but if every little event is pure storyline then your world becomes bland and featureless. You can fill the quiet moments with quick little scenes and randomly determined vignettes, it’s a classic method of space-filling and a great opportunity to breathe life into your campaign. (more…)
Roleplayers are creatures of bizarre habits, not all of them good. What follows is a quick follow-up to my last Player 101 piece with a few more tips on how to behave to maximize fun at the table. (more…)
Just a quick post today.
I have said this time and time again, mine is just one of many unique DM, GM, or Story Teller styles that everyone builds for themselves through practice and experimentation. As such, just taking my advice would be foolish, and me expecting you to do so would just be rude. A lot of people like myself have offered their own advice for your perusal, and I know a lot of you who have read a few of these articles have your own opinions.
So here is my request to anyone interested, I’m looking for anyone to discuss matters of gaming for the purpose of an occasional podcast. Aside from the fact that such conversations are generally awesome, they’re also the best way to learn from other DMs.
I want people to talk to, and I want matters to discuss. I will be trying to corner a few people at Kita next week to record our first subject: DM – Friend or Foe, but anyone interested in taking part or with suggestions for topics to bring to the table please contact us through the GOSW Facebook.
In the mean time, please entertain yourselves with a few other sources of information I have stumbled across through many years of trying to gather ideas for this very series:
Dungeon Master’s Block – A podcast that already covers a lot of matters that I’ve addressed here and a lot I haven’t touched. I’m still working my way through the series but these guys are awesome.
The creator of the above series also runs one of the better nerd-humour Facebook pages, Dungeons and Dragons Memes, not helpful but still funny.
And while I’m on the subject, please also enjoy my own website Quotes From The Tabletop, we just had a lot of fantastic new submissions and we’d love to hear some of your stories too.
Anyway, thanks for joining me time and time again for this series, and I look forward to bringing you more original content, I’d also like to work with practically everyone above. So that’s a hint about as subtle as a thrown brick with a note on it saying “Love Me!”
The simple fact of the matter is that anyone can play a game. It doesn’t take much skill picking up a set of rules and start playing by the numbers, even in a game as big as Pathfinder, D&D, Rogue Trader, games that deal with minutia on a fine level, you can learn very quickly how to play and incorporate every little rule into a well structured narrative.
The actual talent is in the acting, occupying, and even becoming the roles you play, and creating living entities from the page of numbers. As a DM it’s a great thing to practice yourself and encourage amongst your players, as it’s this skill that leads to the most memorable moments, and also has some fantastic benefits for real-world application. (more…)
Oh there’s a wealth of powers at your disposal as a DM, deception, impossible odds, the very style of your play is a weapon in the right hands. You have to be careful with how cruel you are to your group, don’t forget that most of them are designed to fight, not chase shadows, or run screaming. Let them engage in the action sometimes, give them a few fair fights to make let them feel useful, but there are plenty of other tricks you can use to keep players guessing and second guessing, whilst still giving them chances to be the hero. (more…)