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The Douchey DM » Entries tagged with "gm"

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

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: Dealing with Multiple NPC’s At Once

Tweet One of the problems that comes up for gm’s (Ok maybe it’s only me but I’ve heard other gm’s bemoaning this problem so I don’t think so.) is that horrifying moment in time when two NPC’s end up talking to each other but you need for this conversation to take place to impart information or exposition to the player characters. The purpose of this JiB on GM’ing article is to talk about this situation and ways to deal with it without turning the players into audience members watching a one man show.   The first question that needs to be asked is, “Why would my npc’s need to talk to each other?” The short answer is because they have something to say. To be more precise they have something to say that … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice, Inspiration, Opinion

JiB on GM’ing 7: GM’s are Players Too

Tweet GM’ing is hard work. It takes a lot of time and effort to write, prep and run a good game. Sometimes in the haze and panic of prepping a game for play we forget that we (gm’s) are players too. We spend the time and effort to make a good game so we can have fun with the other players. I’ve recently had conversations with a couple of gm’s who were struggling with their games for different reasons mostly having to do with a fairly simple precept, “Make sure that the players have fun with the game.” That sounds good on the surface. We want to make sure that our players enjoy the games that we put in front of them. That said, if we’re not having fun with the … Read entire article »

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

JiB on GM’ing 6: Collaborative GM’ing

Tweet The topic of co-gm’ing has come up a lot in recent conversations. Usually when people talk about co-gm’ing they think in terms of dividing up labor during game prep and splitting up duties at the table. I find myself thinking that the term itself may be incorrect. I think that a better term might be collaborative gm’ing. Ok, sure we can shorten it to co-gm’ing for ease of use. However, for this JiB on GM’ing article when I say co-gm’ing I mean collaborative gm’ing.   When we partner with someone to run a game there are a number of obstacles that might be encountered, some during conception and preparation of the game, and some during game play.   The first question that is going to come up when two gm’s are going to do … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Advice