Game Mastery

Tag: story

Link: Your Expectations Lose to Player Participation

by on Nov.03, 2009, under GM, links and articles

Your expectations lose to player participation is one of the best GMing articles I’ve even read, even if the title is questionable.  Well, maybe it’s not one of the best, but it’s one of the ones I can learn the most from.  The article reminds us that in a table top game the GM is as much the lead writer as the PCs are.  Tabletop gaming is an interactive media for collaborative storytelling.  If I repeatedly make any mistake as GM it’s that I broadcast too much of my own story instead of letting the PCs tell theirs.

As a sidenote, all my links thus far have bene to Gnome Stew articles.  I really enjoy their blog, but sometimes I feel like I pimp them too much.  Any other good GMing sites worth of linking?

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I like my games with a side of fudge.

by on Jul.30, 2009, under game theory

One of the more controversial topics in table top RPG gaming is the fudging of dice. Some GMs feel it necessary to adjust dice results. Other players would leave the table if they found out the GM even thought such a practice could ever be acceptable. There’s no right answer to this debate and it seems like almost everyone has an opinion, so here’s mine…

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Disappointing the characters while keeping your players happy

by on Sep.29, 2008, under player management

I’ve always been a big proponent of beating up the characters a little just to make their victories more meaningful. Okay, so I’m a big proponent of beating up players a lot. It’s how I make the game personal. If a bad guy kicks their collective ass, but the players narrowly escape, they will both respect and hate that bad guy. The next time they get to fight him they’ll be really into it because this fight is personal.

This kind of storytelling (as opposed to “you just killed the bad guy, but wait! His daddy is here and he’s got 10 more barbarian levels. Now kill him instead!”) has served me well for creating meaningful villains in my stories. I recently took it a step further and it backfired spectacularly. I know why the game session failed, but I’m still at a loss for how it should have been run.
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Story Time! The Tale of the Schizo Ranger and His Imaginary PC friend.

by on Sep.17, 2008, under story time, writing

Good RPGs invariably lead to good stories. I have a love/hate affair with this particular story. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty damn awesome. I’m just a little sick of it because a) I’ve been repeating it for the last five years and b) no matter how many games I GM I’ll never do anything this cool ever again.

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