Interview with the People on Heroes

Ben interviews the rest of the cast of Heroes of the Hydian Way. The dependable editor Kristine, the personable Chris, the deep Brent, and the energetic Leslie all share bits of themselves with you in this episode. Continue reading “Interview with the People on Heroes”

Confession of a Newb GM: Heroism at the Table

When we sit down at the table we tell tales of daring do larger than we think we could normally accomplish. I saw a tweet the other day that makes me wonder how we can encourage heroics at our tables. This brings me to musing about what makes a hero. Why are characters that would normally be the epitome of heroics be so hard to play in practice? Continue reading “Confession of a Newb GM: Heroism at the Table”

Eyes Up – Starting to the Side of Things

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.

Continue reading “Eyes Up – Starting to the Side of Things”

Eyes Up: Change with your Players

Plans change.

As a GM you know this at least theoretically, combats don’t go the way you expect or even don’t happen at all. The changing course of how people interpret information you give them is often seemingly bizarre. Players jump to one conclusion and are unwilling to give up on that idea. I’ve seen players do it time and again. This isn’t a bad thing, but what you do with it can be. Continue reading “Eyes Up: Change with your Players”

Eyes Up: Rewarding the Player, not the Character

Let’s talk about rewards for players. I have yet to meet a GM or player who doesn’t get the basics of rewarding players with experience points. In some systems it’s an equation as simple as putting monsters in at one end, running them through the shiny bladed grinder of players, and dropping at the feet of the players blood splattered items of surprising usefulness. This is all well and good, and keeps the characters growing in power, but this can be minor to rewarding the players for their actions instead of just their characters. Continue reading “Eyes Up: Rewarding the Player, not the Character”

Eyes Up: Focused Intentions

Hi,

I’m Deuterium Ice, you may know me a bit from Tales from the Hydian Way and Confessions of a Newb GM. I have been doing an article series about how to run adventures, but @TheAngryDM is doing that with attitude, so I’m shifting to something less obvious. When we were recording next week’s Tales from the Hydian Way it became clear to me how I could help and how I can use my own experience, foibles and all, to give ideas and guidance to people doing campaigns to try to make them more interesting. Continue reading “Eyes Up: Focused Intentions”

Confessions of a Newb GM: Scaling the Story

As I have done more and more planning for different campaigns, I find that beginnings and endings to have to be the most solid points. Without these two points set in stone the wild twists and turns that the players throw at me have a knack for throwing me into a tailspin that takes quite a bit to recover from. Continue reading “Confessions of a Newb GM: Scaling the Story”

Confessions of a Newb GM: Loudly Thinging

Creating a good atmosphere with your games locations is both amazing and hard to accomplish. Adding to the tale that is retold over drinks another day is a great feeling for a GM, but a problem arises when the setting is all there is. A carefully crafted setting can bring great excitement and create an eerie mood, for instance, but if the encounters are all similar the setting slowly loses its majesties. If every room and hallway that the players get into is of a similar style, everything around it becomes routine; making any positive impressions made fade into a faint grey shroud. Continue reading “Confessions of a Newb GM: Loudly Thinging”

Confessions of a Newb GM: Communicating Trust

I’ve just started a group in my Lepskin campaign. I trust that they’ll be playing to have fun and to try to tell a good story while working to bring what is cool to them to the table. They trust that I am making adventures that have direction to them, but also that I’ll let them go and explore the sector I have made up a framework for.  I’ve advertised that the players are able to make a sizeable contribution to this campaign setting and, at the moment, I’m trusted to follow through. Continue reading “Confessions of a Newb GM: Communicating Trust”

Confessions of a Newb GM: Disinterested Interest

Player Engagement is a precious thing. If you lose a player to an outside distraction it takes quite a while for that player to come back and be fully engaged. When players are bored they show it in a multitude of ways, from glancing at their phone, to planning out their next level, to looking up arcane uses of their current skill sets. The ability to be distracted gets heightened online when you have a browser in front of you, it’s so easy to slip over to twitter, to a chat room if you’re on Twitch or any number of other things the giant calculator can do. Continue reading “Confessions of a Newb GM: Disinterested Interest”