Showing posts from February, 2016

Let's Build A Campaign Setting – Part 1: The Foundation

When you are just beginning your journey down the road of Game Mastering, it is important to keep it simple, stay basic, and build off of that. In that same respect, it's not bad advice for veterans too. Eventually, though, every GM's mind wanders to the strange, unexplored lands of their wild imagination, and they are left to wonder “what if?”

“What if I had my own world?”
 "If it is so pretty, why does everyone try to blow it up?"
Not your personal variation on an already published setting, nor an arbitrary, generic setting where you just make up a couple town names (Not that there is anything wrong with either of these). I'm talking about a unique, original setting that has something that makes it stand apart from everything else you have seen or played (or even a combination of everything). This could be something as simple as militaristic blue-skinned elves running around oppressing the masses, or a steampunk setting where dwarves rule the world. 
"By ro…

So You Want To Be A Game Master – Part 2: Cutting Corners

Previous Entries
Part 1: The Beginning

Now that we have the basic ideas for a setting and a story going, you can move on to the really fun part of being a Game Master; game prep.

"It's a lot like that."
Such an arduous task awaits you. You are solely charged with making this new world of yours believable by populating it with an assortment of unique and interesting characters, each with their own names, quirks, and goals. You must build whole towns and kingdoms from nothingness, and shape the very continents themselves. Hours and hours of treacherous work lay ahead of you on a battlefield littered with the corpses of Game Masters that could not cut the metaphorical mustard. This is an all-consuming work that will claim every spare moment of your life...

...Except it totally isn't. 

Game Masters are not the Gandlafs that many players think they are, channeling unfathomable powers of craft and imagination. I find myself to be a conjurer of cheap tricks. An illusionist o…

GM Advice - Session 0: The Most Important Session of Your Campaign

It's hard to replicate the excitement of the first session of a new campaign. It is almost a tangible thing. As you sit behind your screen, feeling confident that you have crafted a story so perfect, it will make Castle Ravenloft look like the Twilight Saga, you smile to yourself. 
 "Can't wait until 50 Shades of Greyhawk"
You settle in, free your eager dice from their crown royal bag (because why would you be using anything else?), and ask your players to introduce their characters. That is when it all spirals hopelessly out of control. The low-magic game of intrigue you had planned is facing the combined wrath of an elven wizard, a gnomish sorcerer, a dwarven gish, and-for good measure-a cyborg... because reasons.
"What? RAW says it's legit!"
There they stand in your perfect campaign world, full of its own pitfalls and perils, sticking out like the sorest of sore thumbs. Thumbs pounded by the twin hammers of ignorance and misinformation. By the time y…

So You Want To Be A GM - Part 1: The Beginning

There are two types of people in this world; Followers and leaders. Some love to listen to a good story, whereas others like to tell one. Some folk like playing an interesting character. Some like to play all the characters. Such is the divide between the player and the Game Master.

So what do you do when you a thrust into this seat of awesome power?
Hopefully not choke, cause that would suck. Like... really suck.
There are a lot of reasons to want to become a Game Master; love, revenge, potential suicidal tenancies. Here are a few that aren't those things.
You have a story to tell: This is probably the most common reason to run anything. You have an intriguing. unique tale to weave, with a nefarious villain and colorful NPCs set against the backdrop of a campaign setting that you developed over a sinful amount of time, shunning friends and family (possibly hygiene) in the pursuit of the perfect story. 

"I've planned every meal at every tavern in every town for the next si…