In the premiere episode of Heroes of the Hydian Way, a squad of misfits: the Mandalorian warrior Matu Ordo, the dispirited tactical droid TV-93, explosives expert Kith Ursi’bek, and Lieutenant Neema Talemy are assigned to the frigate Shadow Raptor in order to take possession of a large shipment of droids. With four million credits in hand and a Hutt controlled station, what can possibly go wrong? Continue reading “Dead in the Water – Act 1 Episode 1”
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”
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.
Massive battles aren’t what role playing games are good at. I have yet to see mass combat rules that are functional at a narrative level or that maintain the spirit of the rules set out in the core book. The rules don’t matter to playing on this scale. The conceit that you’re commanding armies of people often abstracts the rules to such an extent that you are either playing a board game with its own rules or the rules you started with no longer apply at all. Continue reading “Confessions of a Newb GM: Thoughts for an Epic Fight”
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”
There has been much said in the last few years of making the results interesting from dice rolls. There has been a really good micro-cast about creating a story from the results of a roll. Creating a narrative is what an RPG is best at; while a board game always has an emergent story to it, normally it has nowhere near the depth of an RPG. A large issue is that people are trying to create a narrative from nothing preceding it. Continue reading “Confessions of a Newb GM: Rising Action”
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”
A few weeks ago I was in a Dungeons and Dragons 4E combat that lasted an epicly long time. The sad part, in retrospect, is that it will not be remembered by anyone who fought in it. The reason being is that nothing substantial happened. Let me repeat this, after an 8 hour fight nothing of value happened, no useful loot was to be had, we didn’t go up a level, no characters came close to being killed (one did get reduced to below zero health one slot in the turn order before being healed). Continue reading “Confessions of a Newb GM: The Forever Fight”
As a GM, am I out to kill my players?
In a way I am, but it’s more complicated then a yes.
Every role playing game I have played has opportunities for players to die. In campaigns, I have had very few of my characters die since I’m normally very conservative in how I play. When I’m in one-shot adventures I’m not expecting to play the character more, so I try to play to the archetype of the character and choose characters that are different from my normal support styles. Continue reading “Confessions of a Newb GM: Played to Death”