Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Dungeon Master Journaling, my step by step brainstorming process.


I've been asked a few times how I do my planning for any of the games I do, whether it be AD&D 1e or Marvel. I did a video on what steps I take, but a few people wanted to see it written out, so I've decided to put down the idea I expressed in the video, into blog form.

So I normally take like an hour a day, or an hour every other day (normally my lunch time at work) to sit and brainstorm idea for my game. I sit in a nice comfy chair in the lounge area at work, and pull out my journal notebook, and my pencil. Sometimes throughout the day ideas strike me when I see a picture or someone else has a great idea. I normally print those out and take them with me, I'll even cut them out and tape/paste them into the book if I need the picture as a reference.

During your hour, start off by quickly jotting down five ideas, in bullet points.  

Day 1 -  
  • Step 1 - Concepts - Things you'd like to do during) 
    • Concepts stage is an overview of things you'd LIKE to do in words, and it doesn't always mean you will be doing them ASAP, they can be moved towards another day, weeks down the line. 
      • Could be an idea for a trap
      • Could be an idea for a custom monster
      • Could be a hook for a side adventure
      • Could be drawing a map for game
      • Research for an item, a location,  a new race
  • Step 2 - Applications of first five steps.
    • Taking something from your list, and actually do it. 
    • Take one of the 5 bullet points and DO IT.
    • Spend as much time on each as you want.  
      • Example: Idea 1, So let's say you decide to draw a map, and you spend that whole hour, drawing it, making it a rough outline of what you want. It may not look like much at the end of an hour, but this is where the genius of this idea comes up. You leave it after the hour, now you have a new bullet point for the next day. 
      • Example:  Idea 2, so let's say you want to write up a hook for a side adventure.
        • Sit there and think, jotting down ideas of an NPC can get this side quest/adventure to the characters. Just go nuts, write down any possibility you can think of, until you are exhausted of ideas. LEAVE IT. Jot this down for the next day bullet points.
  • Step 3 - Finalizing and wrapping up things, moving ideas forward 
    • Taking the ideas you have left on your bullet points, moving them to the next day, plus the new breadcrumbs you've created.
      • In the last few minutes of hour, look back at what you did. Look at your original list.
      • Cross out or put a check next to everything you accomplished on your list. 
      • The things left over, get moved to the next page/day. 
      • Look over what you've written or drawn. 
        • Move the breadcrumb ideas to your list. 
        • Drew a map? Add to your bullet points, Drawn map, Page x. 
Day 2 -
  • Step 1 - Sitting down for day two, start over again at Day 1, step 1 (concepts).
    • Look over what you did the previous day to refresh your memory. 
    • Look over your list of things, can you add towards it? NO, go to Applications (step 2)
  • Step 2 - Moving into Applications, described in Day 1, step 2.
    • Continue alone with this step as normal. 
    • Use the map from the previous day, map you want to fill in the areas? Maybe you want to write the hook for the map? Map you have the hook, but need to tie it into the map? Plot it out, plan it!
  • Step 3 - Finalizing and wrapping things up as described in Day 1, Step 3.
    • The only thing you'd do here different, is if you don't have enough ideas or bullets to move forward, you take a few minutes to jot down some idea or don't. Its totally up to you!
For those that would rather watch instead of reading, I did a video on it:

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Happy 40th, AD&D 1e Player's Handbook!

40 years old this month! Happy Birthday!

Just wanted to drop a little note that according to the history timeline of our little hobby, TSR released the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 1st edition Player's Handbook in 1978, June to be precise. Its now 40 years!

Monday, May 21, 2018

TheEvilDM's Sage Advice: Episode 14 - Why I changed the alignment system


In this video, I go over how I changed from the 9 point alignment system to a 3 point alignment system in my D&D 5e game, The World of Arkonis Actual Play podcast. 

1. Light Characters 
Under this spectrum will follow the law to the best of their ability, and know they are being watched, thus do the right thing. They will help fellow mankind out when needed, but doesn't necessarily mean they will go out of the way to right the wrong all the time. Not all characters that fall under here will be Justice Warriors, unless they desire to be.
 
2. Dark Characters 
Under this spectrum will follow good’s ultimate opposite, pure Evil. Which is demonic in nature, always trying to encourage the misery of others and taking pure joy at watching what they accomplished. Their actions are purely based on a whim, and diabolical in decision when possible. 3. Grey Indifferent is neither really light nor really dark and is normally the alignment associated with nature or the “good free spirited protector of nature”. Will do the right thing if warranted, but will never commit. 

3. Grey Characters
Indifferent is neither really light nor really dark and is normally the alignment associated with nature or the “good free spirited protector of nature”. Will do the right thing if warranted, but will never commit. 


This works really well in my 5e games, it allows a lot of roleplay freedom and a lot of fun. I will be incorporating this into M&P2e.

Why not try Milestone leveling instead of XP Leveling?



In my previous posting, I talked about using Gold/Treasure as a way to reward XP, and help shifting focus away from just running around slaying things for experience points. But then the issue came up of "what about just skipping all that and just milestone level?"

Friday, May 18, 2018

TheEvilDM's Sage Advice: Episode 13 - Gold for XP in your Campaign




In this episode I went over how you can take your 5e game in a different direction entire when you move the focus off killing for xp to gold for xp. When gold is the end result or goal in the game and that's what gets the characters experience, the player will start thinking differently.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

TheEvilDM's "Roots of Evil": Episode 2 - Chatting Sword & Wizardry Ligh...




In this episode I sit down with Erik and talk about life, things going on, how he got started in gaming, his blog and how S&W Light came about. Check it out!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

TheEvilDM's Sage Advice: Episode 9 - Mundane Trap Ideas?







In this episode, I try to spark a little fun and imagination in your minds by talking about regular mundane trap ideas that can be used in your game, not to hurt characters, but more so throw them off, cause weird things to happen.

Monday, April 16, 2018

D&D 5e Player's Handbook on the cheap, $21 on Amazon.

If you haven't already picked up another copy because of price, or looking to pick up your first copy, now is your chance, as this book is at an all time (I believe) low for a hard copy of only $21.

This is a great time to grab a back up copy for yourself, or be that cool DM that buys copies to have at the table for your group. With Prime, shipping is free, so why not grab it? Right?!

Link to book:
https://amzn.to/2qCswLh


If you haven't already, check out my new Sage Advice videos on youtube and subscribe now! https://goo.gl/R3g8Qw
 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Campaigns designed around music, have you done this?

Tapes! Don't miss them!


I was driving today and was thinking, back to the days of when I was a kid, I listened to a lot of "heavy metal" music. One of my favorite groups to listen to during that time was Manowar! Not only did their music fall in line with what I loved, but also had amazing fantasy stories with them. I remember basing various AD&D 1e campaigns off of just listening to a story about monsters attacking a kingdom.

I remember creating this giant beast, a demonic beast with 4 heads, and 6 arms that was threatening the kingdom of the great Blood king. This king was a ruthless man, but loved by his people because he kept them safe. Since this beast was threatening the kingdom, that love took a nose dive and the people didn't care for him anymore.

I remember putting the players in a situation that they had to decide, do they help this ruthless King and reap the rewards of doing so? or help the people of the land, and just know they "did the right thing" for everyone and made life better.

Of course we were all young teens, so my friends picked "help the king and get rewarded".

It didn't help that most of the players decided to be evil bastards, but hey, we were young and wanted to gain riches and get the girl! (again, we were young male teens, different time lol)

The picture I grabbed for this blog was a tape I looked at while listening to this group (not thee tape, not sure what happened to it). But I'll include a link to their music via youtube and you can be judge of their music.

Have you ever done this, using music to inspire a setting for your campaign?



Thursday, January 11, 2018

New D&D 5e (Working) Cleric Weapon: Hammer of Blood

Yep, always pictured the Metallica Kill'em All album Hammer


Pulling open my DM Notebook of years past, I have this weapon from my AD&D 1e days that I am updating to 5e.

This was original for a Cleric that worships a God of war... Such as Tempus or Bane. It can be used for an evil character or carefully by a Good aligned character (as long as they are not Lawful Good).



Cleric Weapon: Hammer of Blood

This weapon appears to be a magical +2 to hit weapon, once identified or attuned the follow properties reveal themselves to you.

  • Drawing first Blood - When any enemy gets to 50% of their health (or Bloodied status) the hammer senses the blood of its enemy and increases to +3 weapon.
  • The Blood of my Enemy, Feeds me - During any battle encounter, after drawing first blood you may declare one of those bloodied enemies as your chosen enemy, and upon a successful strike, you will do an additional 1d8 points of damage, and each round following that you stand alive, the chosen enemy will take that bleeding damage until they are healed. You may use this once after every short rest.
  • The Final Blow, Blood be splattered - Should you land the final on your chosen enemy, you will bash down on him with the power of the Gods, crushing his skull flat, blood splattering everywhere. That blood splatter will cause all enemies around you (15ft radius), 1d4 points of damage. You may use this once after every short rest.



What more would you add to this item? comment below or hit me up on twitter @TheEvilDM


Monday, January 8, 2018

Low Level Mundane Trap Ideas!


Was thinking this morning about traps, and how you could do the cheap, low effort, non elaborate traps that they are so mundane that the average person looking for them, wont even think about them, and then it hit me...

Sunday, January 7, 2018

What's the first gaming book that made you fall in love?


While most people who know me, know I am all about Dungeons and Dragons and I grew up playing this game like an obsessed mad-man! 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Random 2017 observations, let's make 2018 great! #GameOn


I am glad 2017 is over.
In the past year I've seen things like so called friends turn into backstabbers, and do some dastardly things to me. What can we do as humans? move on and learn from the experience.

I have a lot going on these days, between the Pocket mimic podcast, the World of Arkonis actual play podcast, the Classic Faserip podcast and all the shows I run as a producer, I can't focus on the negative.

2018 is going to be a year of ignoring assholes and focus more on gaming with friends and family.

Loving the future I see, God bless everyone and those that don't believe in God, good luck and fortune to you in your life!

Let's get down to gaming.

First things on my agenda is creating some custom 5e weapons for my group.

So far I have:
  • Rafu's Blinding Justice Katana for my Samurai Player
  • Vianna's Shining Light for the Cleric player
  • Need one for a Druid.
  • Need one for a vanilla fighter.

Dungeon Master Journaling, my step by step brainstorming process.

I've been asked a few times how I do my planning for any of the games I do, whether it be AD&D 1e or Marvel. I did a video on w...

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