Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Quest for the Book of Sorrows ended…for now?

So as it stands, the last episode or session for the Quest for the Book of Sorrows actual play campaign has been recorded. It's been a fun run, but all good things have to end at some point. Personally, I'd like to continue this game, with these characters. I know quite a few people will be sad to see the group fade away, but I think a break is needed. I do know that not all the players want to continue with the characters at the moment.
I don't want to give away much about the actual recording as I sit down to edit so it can be placed up on the site. I do want to say that they do not call me the "the evil DM/GM" for nothing. Listen in and see what happens as Trask gets what he deserves and Regnor sounds a bit different, but just as equally funny. Time plays a factor, and do things really happen or just in the mind of one?
Listen in and find out.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A screen is needed!

This is topic that often leads to me getting annoyed, but hey it needs to be covered.

Should a DM have a screen in front of them to hide their notes and rolls?

I favor yes.

But let's first cover the reasoning behind the people who don't use a screen, and I notice people do this more in later editions that earlier editions.

The main reason I've heard or read was that "they like to keep their players informed and the rolls honest."


They believe it keeps the game fair and balanced. Where the die rolls is what happens.

This method will sometimes get your well planned game in trouble, or even ruin the fun for players, because you will kill them.

The old school method (and my method) and this was even stated in the books for DM's to use a screen to roll behind, so you can fudge numbers when need be. Because seriously as a DM, wouldn't you want to roll that D20 and get a 20, with your last player standing with 5 hit points and say, "fumble! DAMN!" or have it out in the open roll the 20 and have to kill the last man standing.

Which do you pick?

I know I'd pick the screen method so I can fudge the roll, because while its fun to kill characters, its not fun to wipe out a group and have to start over.

I like to think of a DM as the host of a party, and your players are a guest. As the host you provide the place, the entertainment and ways to get food/drink. As a DM, you do the same thing, you provide the places (the starting town/Quests), the entertainment (hooks, plots, NPCs, Monsters..) and ways for your players to socialize (shops, taverns..Etc)

Honestly, how much fun is it going to a party where there is three chairs out and a bowl of popcorn out, with the host ignoring you?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Obsessive-Compulsive Dice DisOrder (OCDD)

Here is a topic that comes close to everyone's heart while gaming, their dice and how they are treated. Now I've been gaming a many of years and never once did I ever feel the need to follow such steps or be this protective of my dice. Yes, there are people who are very protective of their dice and to the point of throwing out a dice set if someone else touches or uses the dice.

There is a known (sickness?) called Obsessive-Compulsive Dice DisOrder (OCDD), that almost 90% of gamers have. This disorder can go as far as people lining up their dice in a certain order before the game, during the game, after the game to make sure the dice roll well. I have seen people accidently misplace or lose a die, get very upset to the point of shaking and in tears trying to find this die they lost.

Myself, I have my bag of dice, which I have my favorite set of it, its my black and dark gold set. I normally pick out that set of all the dice and place it to the side of the rest of the dice to use during the game. I don't get upset if the dice mix up with other dice or the dice is touched by someone else. The only thing I worry about is that I don't lose the dice. IF I do happen to misplace the dice, I get annoyed, but I just sub in another die. In fact you will hear me during games, often switching out dice as I get bad rolls, just to change it up a bit.

I had a friend who I used to play with that, if you touched his dice and he would flip out to the point that he would get violent, start swearing and even physical. This person even would question the group if he had a bad night of rolling, saying "Someone touched my dice didn't they?"

Wow right?

Here is another thing I've seen people do and often read about.. I lose my dX, what do I do with the set? Retire it? Replace the dX ? I don't want to use a "broken" set, (It is broken because one of the dice are missing.)

I am sorry, I just don’t see it. I have dice, and I just swap them around and use them as needed. There is no magic in the dice, there is no special thing about it and certainly if X touched it, it will not roll well for me. The roll and fall where it falls based on various formulas and angles, much of which I could careless to talk about.

So, basically my point is, people seek some help, and just enjoy playing the game and don’t obsess over special dice.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Suspense of Passing notes!

OK, well I am back, decided to focus on my new IT job to get into the swing of things and then come back posting like a madman!

Anyhow....Passing notes..

This is a great tool a DM can use during their game, this not only can be used to keep a group focused, it can be used to add a level of suspense to the game, possibly some mystery.

Why does this work?

Well think of this, you are playing a in game, there is a little lull in the game, and suddenly you see your DM, hand a small note to a player, in which the player reads with a small smile and then response with a quick nod yes or no.

Your first thought?

"What was that? Why did he get a note and not I? What was written on that note? Should I worry?"

Those questions will be the ones going through the heads of your players, and will more than likely get your game moving or back on track.

Most of the time you can write almost nothing that makes sense, or something silly. Most players will get it.

Typical things I or any DM can write on the notes:

1) You notice....

2) You hear....

3) You find...

And the best note of all

4) Read this and look back at me with a smile, say yes, hand paper back.

Use #4 when you really need to do it, especially if you see your group arguing about something stupid and the game is getting off track and you really have nothing to throw at them. Of course the typical monster attacks the group can be used, but that is not very creative.

So there you have it, some tips about using notes and keeping the group’s interest. What do you do?

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