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The Douchey DM » Adventure Design

People, Places (and later, Plans)

Tweet I’m currently running two games and have a convention coming up (where I’m also running two one-shots), so it’s no surprise that game prep has been at the forefront of my mind. The way I see it, my game preparation has three areas of concentration: people, places and plans. I’ll talk about about the first two this time around and the last one later. People (NPCs) This should be the primary concern of every GM. Your players have created characters with (hopefully) interesting backstories, motives, hopes and dreams. They deserve interesting people to interact with. I always try to start with motivations when it comes to NPCs. If I know what they want out of life (both short-term and long-term) I know how they’ll react in most situations. I also try to get an … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Inspiration

Swords & Wizardry Encounter Contest Extended!

Tweet We’ve decided to extend the deadline for Happy Jacks S&W Encounter Contest to May 24th, 2015.  This gives you more time to get your entries spiffed up and us more time to judge all the entries.  The rules for the contest are as follows: Come up with your best 1-2 page encounter for Swords & Wizardry.  It needs to be something which any S&W DM can drop into their game when a quick encounter is needed, for any version of S&W. So there should be a little bit of a story, maybe a twist, a small map, etc., not just “here’s three orcs in a cave”. It should be something similar to a 1 page dungeon (http://onepagedungeon.info) but instead of a full dungeon it’s just a single encounter including the encounter … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Misc

PC Back Story Example

Tweet A little more on PC backstories. I like them short, concise and packed with ideas. To illustrate, I’ll give you an example backstory for a cosmic horror PC. The son of a respected professor father from a prestigious university and a renown physician mother, Dr. Arthur Stillman lived a comfortable life, attending the best schools and universities. After finishing his post graduate work, he struggled finding employment until he received a position at Rhinefall University in west Pennsylvania as a professor of parapsychology. While respected by most of his colleagues, his unconventional theories have drawn criticism and ridicule from several prominent academicians in his field, most notably,  the coldly skeptical Dr. Henry Turn from Carrow College in upstate New York. Within these two paragraphs and three sentences, we have plenty of plot hooks … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Advice

A look at my con-game prep.

Tweet Last weekend at Strategicon’s Gateway 2013, I ran a GURPS game called the Overwarlord’s Emissaries. The game is set in a setting I’m working on, called Blood, Blade and Tusk. It’s an alternate history where – just as the crusades are about to start – hordes of orcs show up in France, dramatically changing the course of history. In this game, two hundred years of war and a successful series of campaigns by the orcs’ Overwarlord Tu’ch Ra’tan has left the kingdoms of Christendom nearly bankrupt and ready to make peace. The party of player characters consists of the bitterly divided orc tribes’ peace emissaries. Some tribes sent their fiercest orc warriors. Other tribes, sincerely ready for peace, sent more learned orcs (a merchant, a poet, and a shaman). Christendom was also divided … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Advice

Drama Tension Conflict – Name Change and Con Playtests

Drama Tension Conflict – Name Change and Con Playtests

Tweet Note: This article is essentially some design notes about my table-top RPG system, Moment of Truth. Revision 1.3, which has not yet been playtested, is available for download at angryfolk.com/publishing/rev1-3, if you’d like to take a look. I’ve changed the name of Drama Tension Conflict to Moment of Truth. The original name came up quite literally as a brainstorming exercise and was nothing more than a working title. The Moment of Truth mechanic has become more central to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Alternate Views, General Gaming, Misc