Working With New Players

Dead Poets Society

Now that I’ve got my do’s and don’ts out the way, I want to start to dig a little deeper. One thing that’s definitely changed about my games over the past few years is that I stopped playing with the same group of people and starting recruiting. Vigorously. In the past three years I’ve introduced about eighteen people to D&D through long term campaigns (longer than a year), and working with new players is something I love doing, though it can occasionally tax my patience a bit. It’s definitely been for the better.

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TPKtalk for Mar 1

Jamie Smart, Get on with it then

It’s a brave new world here. My house is soon to be occupied by eleventeen people as we edit some video like mad. It’s going to be exciting, and I can’t wait. Also there will be snacks. It’s basically a party. But you can’t be there. My apartment is small. Instead, learn things, find Kickstarters, and do your own awesome stuff in today’s TPKtalk!

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My Do’s

Ray gun grandma

Today’s post is a bit late in part because there was much fretting about what I consider an essential “Do” in a game. Things like “Cooperate” and “Don’t be a dick” were generally ruled out because they’re true for any game, I would hope. I wanted to narrow down my own foibles rather than digging out obvious truths. Without further ado, my do’s. Not to be confused with my don’ts.

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My Don’ts

Dexter

The 40th anniversary of D&D gave me a chance to really reflect on how my GMing style has changed since I started playing. I’ve gone from teenage autocrat to adult sandbox GM, but lately I’ve noticed that my style has become a bit paternalistic. I’m starting to set the boundaries and define what people have fun at and what they don’t, and I think that’s a problem in some cases. I want to write and reflect on that a bit, because I think it’s useful for me and hopefully for you. So today, my don’ts. The things that, after this long, I’m just finished dealing with in terms of PCs. Some of these are justified, and some of them are just pet peeves, but it’s all worth thinking about.

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Valentine’s Grab Bag

moulin-rouge-photo

One of the things on my GMing bucket list is to have a PC fall in love when it’s not their idea. It’s one thing to have a PC dream up a love interest and have it as a goal, but something else entirely to have their character develop an attraction to an NPC all on their own. I’ve had PCs fall in love with each other. I’ve even had players fall in love (I’m in their wedding in May), but never a PC and an NPC when it wasn’t specifically the player’s idea. One day. I’ve had some time to reflect on romantic relationships in rpgs though, and I want to share some of that this morning.

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Playing With Others

Breaking Down the 20

The last three questions of the twenty question background are probably the hardest to answer because they’re usually answered in a state of ignorance. It’s difficult to say why a particular character is with the party when you don’t know who else is in the party, what their purpose is, and why they all hang out together despite being murderers and centaurs. These questions are holdovers from Conversation Cafe, but I find that they help encourage people to develop ties within the group and it alleviates some of those early trust issues that fantasy adventurers or paranoid investigators tend to have.

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TPktalk for Jan 25

It’s the 10th anniversary of Opportunity! That little rover has been running around Mars for ten years! That’s a whole other planet! For weird space things, art things, and other stuff you should check out the Concept Crucible Hexup, though you should not do so until partaking deeply of the gaming articles contained herein, which include history, advice, and lessons learned from World of Warcraft, that MMO that everyone played for too long (if you’re still playing World of Warcraft, you’ve also been playing it for too long).

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Money Isn’t Everything

Scrooge McDuck

Once, when collecting my student loan money at university, I found out I’d already been approved for a grant. I wasn’t about to say no to a free $800, and didn’t. The loan officer commented, “There’s nothing better than free money!” Actually, there are lots of things better than free money. In fact, almost anything is better than free money, because I’m going to take that free money and trade it for things.

It’s simple, in a game where people essentially play professional hobos and mercenaries, to say that a character is motivated by money. That they’re looking for the payout, plain and simple. But the fact of the matter is that no one is doing that, and that wanting money for the sake of money isn’t really a motivation worth having. So today I want to talk about why, and some ways to describe mercenary tendencies without talking about them in terms of money.

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