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The Douchey DM » Entries tagged with "settings"

People, Places (and later, Plans)

Tweet I’m currently running two games and have a convention coming up (where I’m also running two one-shots), so it’s no surprise that game prep has been at the forefront of my mind. The way I see it, my game preparation has three areas of concentration: people, places and plans. I’ll talk about about the first two this time around and the last one later. People (NPCs) This should be the primary concern of every GM. Your players have created characters with (hopefully) interesting backstories, motives, hopes and dreams. They deserve interesting people to interact with. I always try to start with motivations when it comes to NPCs. If I know what they want out of life (both short-term and long-term) I know how they’ll react in most situations. I also try to get an … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Inspiration

Making an Existing Setting Your Own

Tweet I’ve started running an L5R game (you can hear recordings of the session at, and some of the things I’ve done with this well-established, long running setting are likely to make some purists a little twitchy. Strangers in a Strange Land L5R is a game of honor and politics, peopled with brave samurai and lofty courtiers. It is — to say the least — a complicated, incredibly detailed setting. Because the setting (for me and the players) was new, uncharted territory, I wanted to introduce it incrementally. I did this by making the PCs sort of outsiders. The most obvious way to do this is to make them actual outsiders who’ve suddenly found themselves in this last. I didn’t want to do that, because it’s a kind of old, hackneyed literary device. Instead, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice, Opinion