Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Video Wednesday, Metagame!

Looking around the web, my eyes fell on as I am always looking for funny things to watch or D&D related videos. I happened to find this little gem of funny and D&D, called Metagame. It reminds me of the movie Gamers, and how they cut back and forth between players and characters. Its only like a minute and a half long for the pilot episode, but the issue that the group argues over is funny as hell, check it out, support them!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The GM is losing their mind...and is a DICK!

An interesting topic came up the other day when I was speaking to a few gamer friends as they complained about how their GM was really controlling and basically started being a "dick" as they called him.

After speaking with them, and having them give me examples of his style of running a game, it appeared it was a new GM, just over his head. The GM often flipped flopped on rules, and always paused the game to find a rule, which he had to know, because he didn't believe what the group told him to be the truth.

My first piece of advise was to give this guy a break from GM'ing for a few weeks to get his composure and then sit down as a group to define how things will be handled.

Such as:

1. Rules will be looked up, but not take longer then a few moments as to not "ruin the mood".
2. A ruling can be made by the GM during the game to fore-go looking up rules, but it must stay the same through out the session that night.
3. Various house rules
4. Various different ways people like things handled
5. Break time

Those are just to name a few, and I am sure there is a 10000000 more things I could list, as I told them they don't have it as bad as a few people that had been in my face to face group.

Then I told them the "Story of Michael the DM", how he was a guy who had not played in 20 years and started to pick it up and run the game as written. Which is fine, some like to run it as written, no problem there.

The problem was this guy was a know it all type person, who thought he knew the rules, but really did not. 

Example of this was during a game, two players who had not played in 20 years themselves, asked if they can use a charm spell on these wolf like creatures, and instead of looking it up, he said, "yeah sure, you can do it.." I knew this was not the way to use the spell, but its not my game, and I don't like being "that guy" who tells the DM how to run his game...So these players used the beasts to their advantage and used them to protect themselves.

Also during the adventure the group was picking up various things, such as old swords, shields, pieces of armor to sell and make some money. Yes they wrote down all encumbrance, made sure it was all legal. The night ended, and fast forward a week we meet up again, and the DM has a prepared speech!!

The sum of the speech was that, the players took advantage of his lack of knowledge, and thus will not be awarded any gold or any experience for last week's adventure. Also, this game is not about going out picking up everything you see to sell for profit, its all about exploring and figuring out puzzles/traps, and thus those who picked up everything, those items are lost. He also went on to say, that its not his job to know everything little thing in the game, and should be able to trust the players, even when he makes a judgement call. Going forward, the Charm spell no longer exists in my campaign.

Half the group walked that day. This game we play is to have fun, if we make mistakes who cares. The game is what we make it, not what one person believes it should be.

What he should have done, was walked in, and admitted his mistake on the spell and said going forward it can not be used that way.

After hearing that story, these people decided to give the newbie GM a fair chance, sitting down with him, talking things out.

What do you think?

Monday, June 16, 2014

AD&D Creature Venonat

SIZE: Small
DAMAGE: 1d4 (bite)
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Sleep Stare, Signal Beam
TREASURE: Determined by GM
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Neutral


The Venonat travels around the nice warm country side or forest minding its own business. This creature is very unpredictable in what it will do. Most of the time it will just tend to run away from anything it deems a threat, but when cornered it will attempt to use its special attacks on their foe first, then resort to the actual bite attack. 

Signal Beam is a special attack, that the Venonat like to use first. This attack is done by using their antennae, the antennae will quickly vibrate, and a loud humming sound will be heard. All those around the Venonat must make a save vs breath weapon that are with 20' of the creature or become confused (as per the spell) for 1d6 rounds. During this time the Venonat will either scamper away or stand around to watch the chaos they've created. They take pleasure in creating chaos.

When the Signal beam does not work on all foes, the creature will use Sleep Stare.

Sleep Stare is a special attack. Any foe looking directly at the Venonat will see their eyes pulse and glow bright red. Any foe starring at the creature will have to make a save vs spell or instantly fall asleep for 2d6 rounds. During this time the creature will attempt to steal anything that appears shiny and run away with it. It will not pick pockets, but will take anything that will appear shiny that is visible.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Crackle's TV Show Chosen, Great gaming story line?

I found this little gem of a show on my ROKU last week, located on the Crackle network. Crackle is a network that provides various Movies and TV shows for free, but has commercials. Its a lot like Hulu, but not as popular or known as well. Crackle also produces their own original shows like everyone is doing these days.

Now the premise of this show is:

"Chosen" follows Ian Mitchell -- a husband, father and lawyer -- who awakens one morning to discover a mysterious box on his doorstep containing a loaded gun and a photo of a stranger he must kill within the next three days. Ian quickly learns that if he doesn't kill this man), he may be killed himself along with his daughter who is being held hostage. Confused and desperate, Ian is transformed from an ordinary man into an unwilling assassin who must risk everything to protect his family."

Click here for the IMDb information:

Crackle's Chosen

So onto gaming...

Could this be a great side campaign for a smaller group of players? Maybe if you know that a few players will be out of town, and you still want to gather up and play, that this could work?

Of course it could.

Ideas that quickly come to mind, a cult is targeting some semi-important people in a large town, the character finds this box at his door early in the morning at the local tavern. inside the box a drawn picture of the target, a date, and maybe a dagger in the box, or a red X over that person's picture. If the character ignores it or tries to avoid it, you as the GM can implement the same steps done in the TV show... attempted times to hurt or kill the character.. maybe they find out someone is after them, get the local "guards" involved, but the character quickly finds out that guard they spoke to was not really a guard after he or she does some digging.

With a little work, it CAN WORK.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology (no, its not a new movie!)

When I was at North Texas RPG Con, I happened to see this brochure by the elevator. Normally I wouldn't give that area a second look, but the INDIANA JONES logo caught my eye.

Now I've never been to this exhibit, but it travels around the country for all to see.

How cool is this, not only is it an interactive museum tour, but they added the flavor of the Indiana Jones movies to it!

The web page is interactive and talks about the various ways they mixed the learning with the movie itself. This is a like a gold mine for Game Masters everywhere, go there, learn about something such as an ancient tomb or mummy. Read about its history, jot down ideas, tweak it for your campaign, boom instant plot device or storyline for your game.

Check them out! Maybe it will be near you soon? 

How the ARC system can help your game

I was sitting here today and thinking about ways to get the characters in my game more involved, and have each player feel like their character is a star and not just some numbers on a page. An idea came to me, and I credit the idea to Karl Keesler when we had been talking about the Ghostbusters RPG by WEG. 

He said he had found somewhere on the internet, that having each of your players write out the following - 1 Ally, 1 Rival and 1 Contact , or as he called it the 1x1x1 system (I've been labeling it as the ARC system, just for easy reference).

Thinking about this, it could really involve characters in the game, and it will open up doors for me as the person running the game. 

I know quite a few of the White-Wolf games do get into using these three things, but its only if you pick it as an advantage or disadvantage.

I think making it part of the character creation method, will not only involve your players a bit more, but will show them you are serious about your game, and its not just a "blah blah let's play because no one else wants to run something".

Do you use this in your game?

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