Articles Comments

The Douchey DM » Archive

On GM’ing :: Being a Thespian GM

Tweet This is the first in an open ended series of articles on a variety of technical topics relating to how to go about running a tabletop role playing game. I do not, at the time of this writing, have a plan in mind for what topics I will cover. That might change in time, or it might not. I am wildly in favor of writing things that will help people and will be what they want to read about. To that end, I would very much like to hear from readers regarding topics they would like for me to cover. What I am presenting here is my opinion, and things that have worked for me in the 30+ years that I have been a GM across a wide variety of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice, Alternate Views, Inspiration

Evolution of a GM part 5: Setting the mood.

Tweet Thanks for returning to and my little blog series here, I appreciate your dedication to what I have to say. Speaking of what I have to say, let’s get to that shall we? For this little session of “Evolution of a GM” I’d like to discuss the way that I run a game during actual play, and what I do to draw my players in and make the game more interactive for them. I have a decent amount to say on this subject so let’s get right to it. The first thing I do in my games is encourage personality. In this instance I’m not talking about the characters, I’m talking about the players themselves. Nothing makes a game seem less enjoyable than a table … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice, General Gaming, Inspiration, Misc, Resources

Some Dumb Questions About Pathfinder

Tweet I walked out of the FLGS last weekend without a copy of the Pathfinder core book. That’s the third time I’ve seriously considered buying the game but left the store without it. The most common reason? There’s been a Hero System or GURPS title at my FLGS that I really wanted. But there are other reasons for my hesitation as well. I’ve only played two editions of DnD: 4th Edition and 1st Edition ADnD.  I moved on to other games by the time 2nd Edition came out, and I’d stopped gaming by the time 3rd Edition hit the market. Like many gamers who moved on to GURPS or Hero, I have some issues with the system with regard to how armor works, enormous hit point counts, etc. At high levels specifically, combats feel … Read entire article »

Filed under: General Gaming

GM’s Play YOUR Disads Too

Tweet We in the Happy Jacks community put a lot of emphasis on playing the character’s disads. It is at least as important for the GM to play the villains disads as it is for the player characters. Waitaminnit JiB why would I want to give my villains disads? I want my villains to be bad and nasty and evil and terrifying why would I want to give them something to make them weaker? Two reasons. First, it makes them more fun to play, and more fun for your players. Second, it makes them beatable without having to metagame or make the player characters more powerful than they should be. Something I think that we as GM’s need to keep in mind is that ULTIMATELY it is the purpose of a villain to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Advice

The Evolution of a GM part 4: This is how we do it.

Tweet Here we are after four weeks and we’ve learned quite a lot about the things that have put me into the state of mind that I currently have involving GMing a game. Now I want to take a look at the nuts and bolts of my process. How I come up with my plots, lay them out for play, and how I work them during actual play to get the most out of them. Keep in mind that I am not a “standard gamemaster” from my experience. I am not rigid, I don’t push my players in the direction I want them to do into, and I just let them go where they want. Now this doesn’t mean I don’t drop hints, but we’ll get … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice