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The Douchey DM » Table Politics

Empowering Players

Tweet We all have seen players completely take their GM by surprise. Usually, the GM has planned one or two specific ways for the players to handle a challenge… and the players try something completely different. This creates a crossroad for the game. Is the GM willing to consider alternative solutions to the problem? The answer should be “yes.” I’m not saying that the GM should always give in to what the players want, but they SHOULD be open to considering logical solutions other than the ones they planned. When the players’ options are allowed, the game changes from the general mice in a maze scenario to a game where players are empowered. The players can stop looking for the “right answer” and really approach the problem from their character’s point of view. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Advice, General Gaming, Table Politics

Comprehending Cross-Gender Characters

Tweet Cross-gender role-playing can be a controversial topic at the gaming table. Opinions are as varied as one could imagine and while some gaming groups are very open to cross-gender characters, other groups are flat out against it. So why is something that has been around since role-playing began such a big deal? Women are partially to blame. The number of female tabletop gamers has been growing for many years and co-ed games can make people uncomfortable with portraying the opposite sex. After I posed the question on Twitter, one man likened it to faking a British accent with a British person at the table. The pressure to “do it right” can take a lot of the fun out of role-playing, even if the other players at the table aren’t judging you. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice, Table Politics

Thou Shalt Not Play with Assholes

Tweet Should subjective tabletop RPG rules be eliminated since they can allow the GM’s biases to influence the game? This rather hot topic has arisen lately, especially regarding mechanics where the GM can reward players for their role-playing. This discussion was started by site called Gaming for Women and we recently discussed it on an episode of the Happy Jack’s RPG podcast. While misogynistic behavior was the main concern of the article, any time you allow the human element into activities it opens the door for prejudice. I will be the first to admit that this can lead to horrible situations in games and in gaming groups. However, I argue that this subjectivity is imperative to gaming and especially vital with reward mechanics. The human element is the reason we play tabletop … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice, General Gaming, Opinion, Table Politics


Tweet Background As many readers may know, I’ve moved my fantasy game from DnD4e to Hero 6th to GURPS 4th. Our first session was last weekend. The session seem to go well — though I don’t know how well the characters are built, as we had no combats (the game ended with a cliffhanger as a very scary bad guy walked in on the party while they’re exploring the basement of an abandoned tinker shop). Even though we were missing two people, we had nine players. Because this was a mostly investigative session, and since there were so many players, they ended up splitting up to investigate different leads. As a result, this session was virtually all sidebars. There were a few times when the entire party came together to compare notes, but for … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice, Table Politics

I couldn’t agree less.

Tweet this is my response to a blog post on Gnome Stew. First, My Example “You’re walking through the ride, and you’re in the area with the fortune teller. That’s when you start noticing the bodies. Adults. Children. You hear some¬†retching¬†coming from behind one of the carts. “There a girl is sitting on the ground — maybe six or seven years old — next to the body of an older woman. The woman’s eyes have been gouged out. There’s blood and vomit running down the little girl’s chin and blouse. “There’s a partially chewed eyeball on the ground. She looks at you and says, ‘mommy’s eyeballs made me sick.’ ” That was my “Shit Just Got Real” moment in my Savage Worlds/Ghostbusters LA game. When I pitched the idea for the one-shot to the players, I told … Read entire article »

Filed under: Table Politics