About Add Post Articles Fiction News Reviews

Posts tagged ‘GMing’

GM’s Blog – Dresden Files One-off Game

By Skimble

I’d never run the Dresden Files before but I have a hankering to run the game to the extent that I’m planning to stop my long-running Geist game in favour of it. Being overly confident in my own ability to wing things I decided to learn the basics of the Fate system behind the game in a week and then run it as a one-off sampler game after the AGS Intro Meeting.

This is how it went.

Continue reading ‘GM’s Blog – Dresden Files One-off Game’ »

GM’s Blog – Exalted Easter Game

For many years now I’ve made a habit of taking a break from my regular weekly games to run something completely different during the University holidays. This began because even though I was not a student some or many of my players were, and they weren’t around to play during term breaks.

Even though most of my current players are also alumni and could keep on playing, I have maintained the habit. Running a different game for a while is a bit like eating a sorbet between courses; it cleanses my mental palate and satisfies my urge for novelty, allowing me to return to my regular games with gusto once they resume after the break.

This Easter I have decided to run a short Solar Exalted game comprised of four sessions that, I hope, will carry a single story.

Continue reading ‘GM’s Blog – Exalted Easter Game’ »

GM’s Blog – Geist: The Sin-Eaters 15th May 2012

For those who don’t know, Geist: The Sin-Eaters is a game in which players portray those given a second chance at life. They died but were offered a bargain by a spiritual entity called a Geist. It would let them live again and in exchange they would share their life with it. The resulting gestalt of living flesh and deathly energies is called a Sin-Eater. Sin-Eaters are all able to see and interact with the dead and gain power by resolving or consuming the ghosts of the departed. They are also able to physically journey into the Underworld to seek forbidden knowledge and to interact with those long dead.

This game has been running since Geist was published in 2009 and features a group of Sin-Eaters in London who have recently bound themselves together into a krewe (s supernaturally bound group that channels energy from the Underworld)  in the face of competition from two larger krewes. Their krewe has no official name as yet but the characters have also founded a company called Twilight Investigations which offers help with troubled spirits and other occult weirdness.

Continue reading ‘GM’s Blog – Geist: The Sin-Eaters 15th May 2012’ »

Eclipse Phase GM’s Log – 16th May 2012

Last session the team traced exsurgent Damon Brandt to the aquatic habitat Atlantica. They found he had dark-casted his ego there using the services of a criminal orca named Bandit. With this knowledge and the Mesh ID of a Firwall sentinel named Grey Man on Atlantica the team prepared to egocast there to catch the target before he could infect the habitat with the Dagon strain of the Exsurgent virus. Continue reading ‘Eclipse Phase GM’s Log – 16th May 2012’ »

GM’s Blog – Eclipse Phase – 9th May 2012

This is the first part of a series of logs relating to my experiences running my Eclipse Phase game “The Centre Cannot Hold”. The game has been running since Eclipse Phase was published in 2009, and focuses on a group of Firewall sentinels operating in and around the Locus habitat in the Jovian Trojans. The basic setup for the game and the characters can be read about here.

Continue reading ‘GM’s Blog – Eclipse Phase – 9th May 2012’ »

Writing a One-Off Game

- By Skimble

I recently had the pleasure of writing and running a one-off World of Darkness scenario called “Fresh Meat” for a weekly meeting. While I was working on the game I spent quite a bit of time thinking about the general process of writing a one-off  scenario.

This article is the result of that thinking. Hopefully you will find it useful if you’re interested in running a one-off game, especially if you’ve never done so before.

Continue reading ‘Writing a One-Off Game’ »

Language: The Lost

By Andrew “Rannos” Moran

One of the often underused attributes in any RPG is that of language. Most believable worlds are vast and have characteristics similar to our own and when your epic heroes travel further away it makes sense that they encounter people who can’t speak the same language as them, I need only to take a small boat ride to France to encounter a totally different primary language.

Continue reading ‘Language: The Lost’ »

Characterisation

By Skimble

Characterisation is one of the most useful skills that a roleplayer can learn. Done well it adds immeasurably to the gaming experience for both players and GMs, providing memorable characters and moments that people will still be talking about many years later.

Conversely, cookie-cutter NPCs and recycled characters can drag a game down, making it feel stale and forgettable.

The aim of this article is to give you a toolbox for building and portraying memorable, interesting characters who seem real (or at least verisimilar) to the other players. For the purposes of this article, “character” is used to refer to both Player Characters and Non-Player Characters.

If you have any tips or tricks you’d like to contribute that I haven’t mentioned, please tell us about them in the comments!

Continue reading ‘Characterisation’ »

Deciding on Game Linearity

By Skimble

Roleplaying games don’t have to be like any other storytelling medium.

While branching or interactive stories have been developed to one extent or another in other media, nothing can rival the flexibility afforded by the dynamic nature of a tabletop roleplaying game session.

In a book, video game, film or a TV series the narrative is pre-defined or, at best, built with branch points that enable the consumer to select from a limited number of choices. Even “sandbox” or “open world” video games that offer self-generated content provide only limited flexibility in the primary story experienced by the player.

Contrast this with a tabletop roleplaying game, where the player(s) can theoretically do anything that fits within the constraints provided by the game’s rules and its setting.

In practice however most games have a degree of structure and linearity imposed upon them by the GM. To an extent this is necessary; without having any idea what is at least likely to occur, how can the GM plan ahead in preparing his sessions?

The question is, how much linearity is too much?

Continue reading ‘Deciding on Game Linearity’ »

How do you get your Game on?

By David Stibbards

Thinking about running a new game in the coming academic year (worries about jobs and PhD’s aside) I began to wonder if there are any preferred ways of constructing game worlds and plot-lines.

This particular game, a post apocalyptic London, has been motivated by a strange, geographical impetus. Many of the ideas have sprung from maps of the city, and talking to Londoners (cocknius londinium) about some of the more distinctive and fitting monuments/eyesores. Battersea power station, Westminster Palace and the many museums. This all got me thinking; how do other people start planning their games?

I can see the relevance of forming your world around your plot, but having the geography of the world define the path the plot might take feels a little unusual. Does anyone have any more bizarre ways of forming the game world? The principle NPCs’ agendas first? A particular message or cause you want the players to get behind?

How do other people do it?

Narrative Conflict

By Skimble

Narrative conflict is an important element in the creation of drama. Since roleplaying games are in the business of telling dramatic stories that involve rich and detailed characters, it is therefore a useful concept to bear in mind when devising plot hooks or resolving the consequences of the players’ actions.

While combat might be the most obvious type of conflict it is by far not the only one that can arise.  In fact I would argue that it is one of the least narratively compelling forms of conflict.

So what are some of the other types of narrative conflict, and how can they be used effectively to tell dramatic, exciting and interesting stories?

Continue reading ‘Narrative Conflict’ »

A DM’s Guide to Character Creation

By Andrew Moran AKA Rannos

Character Creation

The best campaigns have the best characters in them, The GM creates the story and the world and moves the plot forward, but the players themselves supply the fun and excitement that will keep them coming back week after week.

So how can a DM help?

Continue reading ‘A DM’s Guide to Character Creation’ »