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The Douchey DM » Entries tagged with "gamemaster"

JiB on GM’ing: Handling NPC Actions

Tweet A shadow spilled through the open door as two big men lumbered into the back room from the alley. That in itself wasn’t unusual, that they were basically carrying a third between them was. “What happened,” Stock’s voice was heavy with long years of hard drinking. Carmine shifted nervously looking down at his feet. “Well?” the boss’s eyes narrowed at the delay. It was Tony who responded, “Schmidt wasn’t there boss. No sign of ’em.” “So, what happened to Frankie?” “We was ambushed in the clock shop there was at least four of ’em,” Carmine still wouldn’t meet his boss’s eyes. “The cops?” Stock knew that no cop in the docks district would mess with Burns’ men. Tony shook his head, “No, boss. Don’t know who they were but they weren’t cops.” … You can see where this could … Read entire article »

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

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

A Better GM Screen: Part One – Your Protagonists

Tweet Most GM screens give you either three or four 8.5×11 panels on either side for information. This is a very small amount of real estate, considering the size of most rule books. I’m sure there’s a great deal of consternation when game designers decides what to include and what to exclude from the screen. In some cases, it doesn’t seem there’s much thought at all. We’ve all looked at a particular table on a screen and wondered, “why that chart?” And as you gain confidence and experience with a system the information on the screen (if you use it at all) eventually becomes unnecessary. But what if we used that real estate for something else? What if, instead of using it to make us better rules authorities, we used it to make us … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice, Alternate Views, General Gaming, Opinion

JiB on GM’ing: Pathfinder Variant Rules, Character Advancement

Tweet Our final exploration of the variant rules for Pathfinder found in the Ultimate Combat Guide discusses character advancement, the effect of magic and magic items, and takes a look at creatures and how to convert them to use the variant rules as well. Several people have raised some very valid thoughts, questions and even concerns about the variant rules and their impact on game play. Based on the test combats that I have run it seems to me that combat in Pathfinder is a bit more dangerous for the player characters now and the game ends up being a little bit grittier. There are lots of ways to measure the effect of a rule on combat but the one I use is, “How long does a creature stay in play in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Alternate Views, General Gaming

JiB on GM’ing: Vigor and Wounds vs Hit Points in Pathfinder

Tweet When last we spoke …   We were talking about armor as damage reduction in the Pathfinder game. The next part of the variant rules available from the Ultimate Combat Guide involve replacing hit points with a Vigor score and a Wounds score. As unpalatable as Stu finds armor class, I have the same problem with hit points. As long as I’ve been playing variations of the d20 rules I have thought that hit points were a really bad way to express a characters health or their ability to withstand, or avoid, damage. It has always been one of those things that everyone ends up house ruling to some extent or another. Paizo has provided players with a much better representation. The purpose of this JiB on GM’ing article is to explore … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, General Gaming