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”
We talk about where we get some ideas for campaigns and characters, giving special thought to how to turn movies into Age of Rebellion Campaigns. Continue reading “Episode 135 – The Inspiration Tale”
I came across an article about the Yucca Mountain waste facility and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) when the warning labels that they are trying to put in place for radioactive waste jumped out at me. This could be the label sitting over the enclosed domain of a lich or a warning for a great evil. It’s started to make me very interested in these ideas of how to best keep people out of an abandoned, and dangerous, facility. This is a very realistic but grim view of how people design these facilities.
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.
Few things leave me as bored as a GM or player than two sets of characters sitting at the opposite sides of a map running at each other. When several of these instances are chained together I start to wonder if I’m playing chess. I generally prefer chess in those situations. Those people can party like you’d never believe. Continue reading “Confessions of a Newb GM: Vary Your Encounters”
Here’s something I’ve been dealing with lately that keeps jumping to the front of my mind. How can I deal with a published adventure that has significant problems with it but has a single diamond in the rough that will drive some great sessions?
In Dungeons and Dragons I was able to game my DM because we never went up against a group of NPCs that were smart enough to attack the real healer. Every single one of the NPC groups had an INT score high enough to go for the healer, I just made sure I wasn’t the first one to heal. They would never retarget after the other healer stopped and I started. This realization allowed me to win D&D. Winning any RPG is one of the most pyrrhic things I can think of doing. It’s boring and you should never let this happen to your group. Continue reading “Confessions of a Newb GM: How to Not Win an RPG”
GMs have to strike a weird balance in ongoing campaigns. Don’t do too much preparation; so that when players go off the blazed trail you aren’t starting the nights campfire with your notes. But, also have enough structure so they aren’t just spinning on the log flume again and again going nowhere. All while having a little bit of fun while doing it. Many people look to random tables to solve the preparation issue to avoid burning out from creative fatigue. The problem with that is many of the encounters I’ve seen using encounter tables have been horrible; worse than just throwing a dart at the index. There is little life to the encounter and the GM doesn’t understand how the monsters are to be utilized in the scene.
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.
When setting a scene you should have a reason for the players to be in the encounter whether that reason is a piece of information, a contest that one is going to participate in, or an NPC they have to deal with for other reasons. Any situation the party has in front of them has multiple solutions to it and as a GM you should be trying to show at least a few of these solutions. Continue reading “Confessions of a Newb GM: Rooms as Costume”