Category: GMing Advice

ghostbusters_table

I recently had the opportunity to obtain a copy of the Ghostbusters II RPG, by West End Games. This game has been out of print for over 25 years (cough, cough), and I had not seen a copy of the game, nor run it, in the same amount of time. Being someone who does not run games a second time, and is of the “cult of the new”, I had reservations about bringing a classic like this to the table. I also had concerns about […]

I really do highly recommend it. It's high octane from start to finish.

On a whim, I went to see Mad Max: Fury Road this past weekend. I cannot adequately express my fan girl glee at this movie without descending into nonsense and Kermit flailing. OMG I LOVED IT SO MUCH! The cars, the costumes, the explosions, the CHASE. Oh what a day. What a lovely day! Besides reminding me of how much I loved the original movies, it also fiercely rekindled my desire to run a post-apocalyptic game. I’ve wanted to run a post-apocalyptic game almost since […]

area_map

Players love to go off the map. That’s one thing that separates traditional roleplaying games from computer games, the ability to try anything. In a face to face setting, there are a number of ways to handle players going “off map.” You can quickly draw a map on a clean piece of paper, wipe off your battlemat and start fresh, or move some terrain pieces and an oatmeal box to represent the changing scene. It can be harder to do this when using a virtual […]

GMingAdvice04

It can be difficult to switch over, to cross the table and GM for the first time. Long ago, I wrote Introductory Games for New Roleplayers for a young GM and a table of all new players. This time we’re looking at a different situation—training new GMs who may be nervous about running for tables of experienced players and strangers. Instead of apprenticing to a GM and getting a peek behind the curtain between sessions, a group of experienced GMs are going to hold a […]

snowtracks

One of the biggest problems I’ve ever seen plague any game is miscommunication between the Game Master and the players. The game master will say: “You throw the door open and see the footprints in the ever-deepening snow. The flakes continue to fall from the sky and begin to obscure the tracks that lead off to the west.” And what they are thinking is: That article on combats in snow was awesome. I’ve got a lot of interesting challenges set up, but this chase through […]

GMingAdvice03

Here’s my dirty little GMing secret – I burn out quickly. I launch into a new campaign with great enthusiasm, boning up on the period and genre, purchasing all the supplementary material I can get my hands on, crafting a world, and putting an epic campaign into place. My problem is that my enthusiasm only seems to last for three or four months before I start getting antsy for the Next Awesome Campaign. For a weekly game, this isn’t much of a problem and even […]

1d20hist

So you’ll often read online or hear during RPG discussions that someone’s dice were “misbehaving”, by which they usually mean they had a long string of low (usually, but sometimes high) numbers. It’s also regularly used as a reason why GMs fudge rolls as in: “I don’t usually fudge rolls, but the dice were misbehaving and we were close to a TPK…”. I personally have a love/hate relationship with dice. I enjoy crunching the math on die systems and figuring out optimal choices based on […]