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The Douchey DM » Entries tagged with "combat"

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

Herding Dragons: My Wild Talents Con Game

Tweet I love adding a unique twist to my convention games, and my Wild Talents game for Gateway 2012 was no exception. Months earlier I had been inspired to set my game in the world of Skyrim (mostly because I was playing it every waking moment), but I wanted to give my players a completely unique experience. A major role reversal was in order. When my players arrived, they were greeted by my trademark gaming table. I’ve had other GMs scoff at my admittedly overdone layouts, but I find that players really appreciate the amount of preparation and it starts everything on a very positive note. Folders were laid out on the table, each one labeled with a symbol that represented the character that lay within. I never let players see the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, General Gaming

Dealing with Player Ignorance

Tweet I have GMed many convention games, but I ran into a new problem a few months ago. One of the players in my game had a fundamental misunderstanding of a pretty simple scientific principle. I will not go into specifics because I do not wish to embarrass that player or narrow down which game I am discussing. The players were engrossed in the game and having a blast trying to come up with a solution to my challenge. They were all great people and it was a very positive game, however suddenly one of them suggested an action that defied the laws of physics. Two other players jumped on board, and the remaining players looked at me with their eyebrows raised. I casually asked for clarification, hoping they’d catch the mistake themselves. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice

Encounter Design

Tweet I”ve started working on my two Savage Worlds games for Orccon 2012. Since one of the games is going to be in a fantasy setting (the game’s called “The Hall of the Munchkin King”), I’ve been thumbing through the Fantasy companion for ideas and inspiration. While flipping through the monsters in the back of the book, there was a little paragraph about encounter design, balance, etc. I can’t remember it exactly, but the gist was “forget balance. Make the encounter that makes sense for the story. If it’s too difficult, the players will have to come up with another plan.” Halle-frikkin-lujah! Let me back up a bit and talk about immersion. Immersion is the brass ring of RPGs. GMs always (or should) strive to give their players immersion into their character and the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Alternate Views

A Challenge: LOSE!

Tweet We all play games for different reasons, for some of us, it’s about the story, for others it’s doing awesome stuff, building a powerful character, gathering wealth, etc. But even among the most role-play-heavy players you’ll see a drop or cessation of role-playing once combat starts. Players — even good ones — may trade tactical advice, point out particular dangers, etc. This often won’t be in character. It’s simple table talk between players who are cooperating to win a combat encounter. But it IS metagaming. Amongst the many crimes of metagaming, this is probably a minor infraction, so insignificant that many GMs wouldn’t bother admonishing players for it. And it’s understandable: combats in RPGs are always a win-lose event, and everyone likes to win. But consider this: what would happen to your character’s story … Read entire article »

Filed under: Alternate Views