Having just started a new grad program this month, I have been incredibly swamped. So for Education month here at TPK, I wanted to take a look at fantasy grad students because no matter how bad my workload gets, at least I’ll never have to deal with a dragon. I know first hand what grad students are like in the real world today but what would a fantasy grad student look like? Lets take a look.
We’ve got some great links this week. Articles on pacing, timing, and worldbuilding. Also some good deals on some wicked rpg books. You can also come back tomorrow to see some livestreamed D&D in Legends of Madjan!
This is the post my dental horror kept me from writing, the one I was really looking forward to. I’ve been running rpgs for twenty years now, from my secondhand copy of Darksword Adventures all the way to my playtest game of D&Dnext. I’ve run live-action games, story games, adventure, horror, and mystery. It’s given me plenty of time to take risks, and plenty of time to make mistakes. So here’s a lightning round of things I wish I’d known when I started.
As I mentioned back in the first of these experienced GM posts, I have only ever GMed for one group. This has been both a blessing and a curse. After the jump, I’ll look at what GMing for one group has taught me and what I want to learn from working with other groups.
Welcome once again to opposites month here at TPK. As I mentioned last week, I want to go into some of my other game ideas that I would like to do either in addition to my current game or after it ends. I’ll be discussing why I want to make this particular game and what sort of game it will be. Of course between planning my wedding and starting a PhD program in September, I’m not entirely sure when I will have time to do any of this. But it is good to have goals so without further ado: other games!
When it comes to GMing, I’m a magician at heart. I love the reveal, that moment when the curtain is pulled back and the whole adventure snaps into focus for the players and it isn’t what they thought it was. The twist, when the villain’s hooded henchman puts a bullet in his back and smashes the reliquary they were chasing because they hold the keys to an ancient Prussian war machine hidden beneath the castle. If horror is about hiding something under a sheet and daring them to pull it off, adventure is about whipping off that sheet to gasps. Better yet is when they’ve figured it all out but don’t trust it, waiting for that last piece of evidence that confirms their theory and let’s them go “Aha! I knew it!” Everyone wins. But getting there can take a bit (or a lot) of misdirection and this is the month to talk about it.
Later post today on account of work-related busyness and my growing addiction to Doctor Who. David Tennant is the real Doctor, and while I love Matt Smith, I do not care that he is leaving. Okay, I care a little bit. This is not about Doctor Who.
Today’s post is about how to keep your improvisation consistent. I love improvising at the table, but it can be a challenge when players rely on your to provide accurate and complete information to them. Whatever you say about the world has to be believable, which means it has to fit with all of the other things they know about the world. If Steve is the King of Baltimore, then Jack cannot also be the King of Baltimore. If the treasure of the Unhallowed Hall lies in the swamp to the east, then it shouldn’t also be a dungeon in the north. These kinds of inconsistencies will crop up, and your players will notice some of them. Today I’m going to talk about how to keep them to a minimum and what to do when you get caught (and you will sometimes).