Thoughts, Issues, and Zombies
It’s that time again. Posts have been a bit sparse this week because Ryan’s phd is intrusive. Higher education is like construction in that things are rarely done on time. Nonetheless, we’ve got a great roundup this week with some GMing advice and some food for thought on issues around the gaming table.
I love the Knights of the Dinner Table. Jolly Blackburn’s comic manages to be funny, heartwarming, and to tickle my passion for gaming all in one go. So when Anthony at Read the Damn Book wrote a post on the ten things he learned from Knights, I knew it had to be here. He doesn’t just capture the core of the comic, but of a lot of what makes gaming great.
Courtney Campbell at Hack & Slash wrote an inspired post on treasure design, urging GMs to think about the purpose that treasure serves, not merely in its place but in the structure of the game. Is treasure a game mechanic? A means of advancement? Something else entirely? It’s definitely got me thinking about what treasure is for beyond being a reward for smacking things in their faces.
Creativegamemaster’s got a few things to say about good ways to show clues and encourage players to interpret them. They really hit home on a lot of the ways I’ve been running mysteries, and I love being cryptic and mysterious. I really like the way they break clues and events down. the clues don’t drive the scene, the players do.
I didn’t want to put this last. It’s a whole thing. I like Mike and Jerry not just as artists, but as people mostly. I watch their videos, read their comic, raise money for their charity, and I’m heading to PAX East. But sometimes people we like are giant dicks. Dickwolves shirts? Not cool. Were never cool. Sarah Darkmagic wrote a good summary of the whole shebang. MC Frontalot wrote an impassioned essay. What does this have to do with tabletop? There’s a big difference between declaring something a safe and inclusive space and actually having it be one.
You’ve gotta have goals
I talk a lot about goals for characters, but you’ve also got to have goals as a GM or a player. This post from Tabletop Diversions got me thinking about what I want to do with gaming, from D&D for charity to just playing a larger variety of games. What do you want to accomplish as a gamer in the next year?
Buy this game
I don’t have a new rpg this weekend, but the Walking Dead game is on sale on Steam until Monday afternoon. Buy it. You will laugh, cry, make choices, and yes, do quicktime events. But Telltale Games does an incredible job of presenting human characters with real concerns. My favourite thing is that whenever there’s a long conversation the characters are doing something. Fixing a fence, pushing a kid on a swing, whatever. They’re not having some kind of statue staring contest like they do in most other games. Get it. Trust me.