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Gaming with Guido: Random Gaming

Tweet I’ve seen lately a bit of a trend toward disliking random elements in games. Things like a random encounter. There have been comments that if it’s not designed and planned for in the game, or key to the story, that it shouldn’t be included in the game. I find this outlook flawed. Random elements for me are one of the things that make the game fun for me as the GM. If I spend loads of time crafting a story and laying in all the elements exactly the way that I want them to be, that’s boring. This is supposed to be fun for me and the players right? What’s fun about knowing what’s going to happen? Nothing as far as I’m … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Advice, General Gaming, Inspiration, Reviews

Game Prep Methods Part 1

Tweet Following a recent discussion about adventure planning, I decided to detail out a couple methods I’ve used in the past to get ready for a game. The “Evil Plot” Method To me, this is the easiest and most universal way to plan adventures, and as such, it’s my go-to method. Simply put, you determine the villain’s actions, with little regard to the party or their intentions of disrupting the villain’s plans. Determine the villain’s plot, determine any methods the villain might use to meliorate the efforts of any heroes that decide to interfere, and set those plans in motion. This method requires a good amount of world detail, as the GM gives no guidance as to how the party will discover or disrupt the villain’s plot.  As such, a more detailed world allows the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice, General Gaming

JiB On GM’ing 4: Adding Flair and Flavor to Our Games

Tweet I’ve been told by any number of GM’s that they can only run one kind of game whether it be fantasy, or horror or some other genre of game. When they try to run something else it turns into the same old thing. The purpose of this On GM’ing article is to talk about ways to bring flavor and flair to our games and to give ideas for making games feel very different from one another.   Regardless of what kind of game I want to make I find it helpful to read books and short fiction or whatever I can lay my hands on of the type I’m trying to emulate. The idea being to immerse myself into the atmosphere I’m trying to create for my players. Music and movies are … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Advice, Alternate Views, General Gaming, Inspiration

Campaign Organization – Obsidian Portal

Tweet Organization from my games has lately been a collection of Google Docs in a folder. I generally start will a PC Information document — this is something I distribute to the players, and it contains stuff their characters would probably know about the game world. Most don’t read it, but it’s there for reference nonetheless. For my own reference I usually have an NPC/Bad Guy document, where I put descriptions of significant characters the players are likely to meet or have met. Sometimes I’ll have a document describing the overall story arc. For each session, I set up a document with the clues, plot hooks, and events that will occur and what will happen if the party decides to follow those leads. Since the storyline focus changes with the PC’s actions, I … Read entire article »

Filed under: Resources

Gaming with Guido: Inspiration, adaptation, and organization.

Tweet I wanted to take a minute to talk about inspiration, adaptation, and organization. Have you ever seen a show or movie and thought it would make a great game? Well there are definitely ways to make that happen. It really all comes down to adapting it well and keeping yourself organized in such a way to make it easy to do. In one of my previous articles I mentioned my ideas notebooks that I keep for my various games, I’m going to show you how to create your own so you can create some fun and unique stories for your players to enjoy. While creativity is fantastic, and I don’t mean to hinder that at all, as we get older we gain lots of new responsibilities. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Advice, General Gaming, Inspiration, Misc