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The evolution of a GM Part 1: The first rule.

Tweet In a lot of ways my experiences as a gamer and as a gamemaster have been vastly different than what I’ve heard from many of the podcast hosts, blog authors, and friends that I have discussed them with. In the years since I started roleplaying in 1994, I have had a sum total of only five different gamemasters, and only played three different game settings for more than two or three sessions. The biggest chunk of my gaming history was invested in a game called Legend of the Five Rings, I started playing that in 1996 and didn’t stop until 2010. Fourteen years of playing the same game, and most of that in the same campaign with the same gamemaster. Because of my experiences, there was … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice

T.o R.eward A. P.layer: Six Tips For The Perfect Trap

Tweet The Trap Master. A title given to me by every gaming group I have ever been in. Not only have I been awarded this nickname, I have earned it and wear it with pride. But why, you may ask, would I be so proud of something that frightens so many other GMs and players, the likes of whom speak the word “trap” with hushed tones of respect and fear? Simply put, traps should move the players forward, not hold them back. The anagram I have used to determine how traps should be created illustrates my point; T.o R.eward A. P.layer. With this idea of giving the players added story opportunity I have come up with six tips for the GM who wishes to incorporate more enjoyable traps into their sessions: 1. Make … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice

Convention Game Design

Tweet We had an entire weekend of convention games at Orccon 2011, and there were lots of lessons learned. I’d like to detail the games I ran, what worked, what didn’t and how I’m going to approach the games I’m designing for Gamex 2011. I’ve identified four things to keep in mind when designing a good con game. Characters Goals Time Playing with Expectations 1. Characters No need to re-invent the wheel here. Check out Christopher Paul’s excellent paper on convention game character design, where in he describes how you pre-generated characters are THE most important aspect of a good con game. To summarize, Chris states that the most important part of a con game is the characters, and as such, they should be well-fleshed-out and fun to play. During the two games I ran at Orccon 2011, I think … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Advice

New Zealand Red Cross Drivethrurpg Bundle

Tweet Drivethrurpg.com and some of their associated publishers have put together a bundle of RPG products to raise money for the New Zealand Red Cross.  This to benefit the victims of Tuesday’s earthquake. More than $300 worth of stuff for $29. Here’s the link. … Read entire article »

Filed under: General Gaming

Yet Another Blog Post on the Mearls Column

Tweet In case this is the only RPG blog you read, go here and read Mike Mearls call for peace in the DnD edition war. There are all kinds of people giving their take on this — some are Zero-Edition players, 3.5/Pathfinder players, etc. All of the discussion has been very DnD-centric, of course. Mearls’ column is very DnD-centric, of course. Since I’m not DnD-centric, and Happy Jacks isn’t DnD-centric, and Doucheydm isn’t DnD-centric, I’m not quite sure why I care… The True Cost of the Edition War Unlike most bloggers, I can’t read Mearls’ mind, so I can only guess at his motives — and I’m guessing the edition wars have hurt WotC’s market share in the RPG market, and they are ready to play nice. How do I guess this? Here’s how: Several months … Read entire article »

Filed under: General Gaming, RPG Industry BS