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Posts tagged “DMing 101

Kitacon Quest – The Journey Begins

A very short article, as by the time you read this I will already be on-route to Kitacon Quest 2017. I think I’ve undergone more preparation for this convention than any before, and even as a non-cosplayer I’ve undertaken more work than one might call necessary for – what some might call a holiday.

In my hubris I have elected, not only to prepare a one-shot Pokethulu game, but to create a full Pokenomicon filled with horrors of my own creation, featuring alongside a handful of competition entrants from last month’s GeekOut Shrewsbury competition. And because I am the sort to over-do things when I’m organising a game for people whom I’ve either never met or see very infrequently, I had to invest in a better audio recorder to immortalise the game for all to hear, and high quality paper just to really finish the job.

If you’re interested, come find me today (Thursday) and volunteer. I have five places to fill, and once all are claimed and we have a quiet place to sling dice then we shall begin. If asked nicely a second game may be held over the weekend.

Disclaimer – If you join in the Pokethulhu game your voice will be recorded and you are likely to be photographed. Also I stand up while I run games, that’s apparently a thing I have in common with Patrick Rothfuss. You have been warned!

I’m currently finishing a few talking points for the DMing 101 panel. After last year – where I worked through my prepared material in about twenty minutes – I have more plans and more to discuss in order to give my second effort at hosting a panel the semblance of better organisation. We’ll try and keep the panel on topic until we run out of material and questions from you guys, and then I reserve the right to have the whole thing descend into story-swapping, which can be educational in its own right.

Tim and I will be completing the Top 10 for Sunday 27th in person! Based on the results of your vote in our last list, and we will be recording the efforts of compiling the list at the Warwick Art Centre this very weekend, meaning that you will get to hear the bitter arguing, the deliberating, the nitpicking and quibbling. The Top 10 will be based on your second place winner from the last poll.

I will also be coming equipped with Magic decks, Raid passes for Pokemon Go, and a general willingness to talk to anyone.

Time draws near, I will see you soon…


Pokethulhu – The Kitacon Hypetrain

This coming Kitacon I will be arriving a day early to socialise, get some work done, and to get some gaming in before the convention comes in and cruelly steps on my chances to play, there are still some Magic rematches I owe but I never seem to get the chance because of panels and the like. Damn you Kitacon, getting in the way of me enjoying a perfectly good convention!

Anyway, first item on my docket is a one-shot role play in a system I’ve never run before. It’s an opportunity for me to learn something new, get experimental with something other than Dungeons & Dragons. I chose Pokethulhu because it combines my greatest strength – horror – with an important component of any one-shot where no one is planning on getting emotionally invested with their characters – completely stupid comedy. (more…)


Kitacon Quest – DMing 101 The Panel

On Saturday the 19th of August at 20:00 I will be giving my second panel ever. Considerably less interesting than doing my first, but still kind of a huge deal from where I’m sat. I fully intended to bring back my confidence building panel with some rather necessary improvements, I can’t claim to have been all that organised, but sadly someone seems to have beaten me to the punch as I was declined on the grounds that someone had submitted a very similar panel before I got to it. Not to worry, I always have a fallback: (more…)


Player 101 – Becoming Heroic

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…)


DMing 101 – Lies 2: Duplicity

 

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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…)


DMing 101 – Choosing Your Rules

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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.

You can alter, add to or even create rules if you’re feeling really brave, but there’s a market out there worth researching, and it’s a fun experience. (more…)


DMing 101 – Foreshadowing

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…)


DMing 101 – Random Encounter Tables

DMing101

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…)


Player 101 – Etiquette

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…)


DMing 101 – The Podcast

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.

LOOK, ROBOT did an excellent article in 2013 about being a better player that goes through a lot of fantastic points that I missed in Player 101.

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheRealPlayersDM

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!”