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The Douchey DM » Entries tagged with "GMs"

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: 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

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

A Better GM Screen: Part Two – Your Weaknesses

Tweet In my last post, I talked about information that could be included on GM screens to make us better GMs — not just better at the rules. In that post, I focused on information about the PCs: perception numbers, weaknesses, enemies, etc. That’s the first panel, and it’s a pretty obvious choice if you think about it. It’s information that every GM at one point or another realizes he or she consistently needs. Where to start? For the other panels on the screen, that requires more thought, and truth be told, I don’t think it’s going to be the same for every GM. We all run our games differently, and we all have different weaknesses and areas that can improve. The key to filling out the rest of the screen, I think, is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice, Alternate Views, General Gaming