Every now and then we get asked by new GMs how to I get started, I love the universe but this RPG thing scares me. This is David and Ben giving a few pieces of advice and telling a few tales of how they learned to use the dice. Continue reading “Episode 139 – The New GM Tale”
This week we talk about the kinds of campaigns that a diplomat would excel in. From negotiating treaties all the way down to keeping two rebel groups working together. David and Ben give ideas for several campaigns and scenes for you to use and give a few spins on dealing with interpersonal relationships that a GM might not always think of.
Continue reading “Episode 138 – The Diplomats Tale”
We talk about the wonders you can find in the background of a scene. From the rolling conveyor belts of a factory to the people in a bar the extras you bring to the scene in description will be paid back in fun for your whole table. Continue reading “Episode 137 – The Active Set Tale”
We talk about how your characters got their first experience and a give few ideas how they spend time between campaigns. From ways to give out experience to ideas for training montages we give you many ideas for passing the time between and before your main adventures. Continue reading “Episode 134 – The Downtime Tale”
Something weird happened with the last Eyes Up, people asked questions and commented. Here’s one that I knew would take me longer than a 5 minute response to have the answer be any sort of use.
You need direction at the table. If you’re reading this I’ll assume you aren’t trying to flesh out your Imperial Assault or Descent games just for that little extra bit of story. I mention this because the standard villain of the week approach is boring. It’s boring on TV and it’s boring on the table. A campaign has structure. A campaign needs structure, even if it’s loose, otherwise you and the players will spin your wheels after a while and people will drift away.
Never talk to me about adventures, because if you are trying to it’ll be a book in length and I’m going to be bored, or it’s going to be a about something that isn’t all that long but I’ll be wondering where the rest of it is because I’m expecting the whole novel. Adventure is a meaningless term that could be anything from going and building a snowman to throwing some jewelry into a volcano, or even following the adventures of a Naboo ship-repair droid as he goes through the galaxy orchestrating the overthrow of an evil empire.
When creating a campaign you have a story you want to tell. This will have its own rising and falling actions, but, if you’re designing this week to week, it becomes near impossible to find ‘act breaks’ and make it fit well into the tropes of a nice classic three act structure. The best structure for planning long campaigns I’ve found is to follow the pattern of TV shows or comics, for example Saga, Babylon 5, Farscape, and Leverage. Continue reading “Eyes Up: Teasing A Bigger World”
In the last article we looked at the basics of why an NPC is in a scene. Today we’re looking at where an encounter is taking place. I know I’ve covered it, @Brometheus has covered it, and @theangrydm has covered this before. Here I’m going to be looking at it a little differently. What happens when an NPC isn’t in the room, but you still need to get information across to the players. Continue reading “Confessions of a Newb GM: When the NPCs Aren’t There”
Getting a group together and sitting down to play can be fairly nerve wracking for a GM. Building the world that people are living in is a weird sort of skill to expand. I see the expectation time and again in many RPG products, GMs are expected to be able to go create something and make it wonderful for players off the top of their head. Continue reading “Confessions of a Newb GM: Making NPCs That Care”