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Thread: Chaotic Void's "Ask the GM Anything" Thread!

  1. #11
    Tweeb Overlord Chaotic Void's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus View Post
    I should hope so. It's surprising that someone who prides himself so much on the wacky hasn't used an enemy with a bite attack
    Oh, believe me... there are wackier things than a bite.

    Quote Originally Posted by Teallaura View Post
    Do you use miniatures when you play?
    If I had any, along with a portable laminated map to draw on, yes. I'm likely going to get some colored wooden blocks and use those as substitutes. Of course, if I had access to all my old Lego pieces I'd use the Lego men from them as miniatures.
    Mercenary Maxim 37: There is No 'Overkill.' There is merely 'Open Fire,' and 'I need to Reload.'

  2. #12
    tWebber MaxVel's Avatar
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    What do you see the GM's role as being?
    ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

  3. #13
    tWebber Irate Canadian's Avatar
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    What are your recommendations on how to be a good G.M?
    "It's evolution; every time you invent something fool-proof, the world invents a better fool."
    -Unknown

    "Preach the gospel, and if necessary use words." - Most likely St.Francis


    I find that evolution is the best proof of God.
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    Tweeb Overlord Chaotic Void's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxVel View Post
    What do you see the GM's role as being?
    First and foremost, the GM is an entertainer. If you can't keep the other players interested in the game, then they won't give a hoot about anything else.

    Other than that, the GM has the following job descriptions (with various priorities on/applications of each, depending on the Rule System, the Flavor of the campaign, etc etc):
    Tactician - The guy has to make the battles interesting and challenging. Just having the enemies attack the closest Hero within range can get kind of boring after a while. If an enemy squad is supposed to led by a brilliant tactician, then the way they fight should match that.
    Universe Architect - The GM has to build the world that the players will be totally demolishing exploring . This can vary in scope and flavor. The game could take place on a single spaceship in the distant future, or your shenanigans could span an entire continent of Medieval kingdoms.
    Referee - When there's a dispute as to what happens, the GM has to be able to settle things... Preferably with the rules. Typically, most starting GMs will go strictly 'By the Book' but as they start to understand the system they're using a little better, they'll likely throw in some personal 'House Rules' as well. Let's face it, no system is perfect (and neither are GMs).
    Narrator - A good storyteller knows how to open the players to his world. It's all in the description, as they say... "A horned monstrosity charges at you, roaring with unbridled fury. Your blades graze the creature's hide, but it barely seems to halt the monster in it's madness." The GM shouldn't be trying too hard or laying it on too thick, but it certainly makes things more memorable than just describing what you've sent the party's way as "An Orc with Antlers".


    Quote Originally Posted by Irate Canadian View Post
    What are your recommendations on how to be a good G.M?
    Well, as I said earlier, remember that your primary job is to keep the rest of the group entertained.

    As for what else... couple good rules of thumb:

    Know the Rules - You can't teach newbies how to play if you don't know how to play yourself. It's also a lot easier to resolve rule conflicts if you don't have to waste ten minutes sifting through Rulebooks.

    Keep it Simple - This was one of my biggest mistakes as a beginner GM... TOO. MANY. NPCs. Keep a couple major ones in your back pocket, but don't get too many characters involved... otherwise, it becomes a mess to keep track of.

    Use 'Plot Hooks' - Basically, give your Players a couple means of exploring the world (ie, "The King is Requesting Adventurers to Help him find his Daughter," "Bartender Bob is looking for a Few Good Men to help him settle some tabs," and "Sweet Grandma Gertie needs help cleaning out her pantry from a recent infestation"). Nine times out of Ten, the players will find find that Necromantic Cult you've been wanting them to fight, they'll wind up doing so on their own terms. As for the One time it doesn't work...

    Don't be Afraid to Adapt - This is one of the reasons you need to Keep things Simple... suppose things don't go as planned. Now it's your job, as the GM, to find a way to get the party back on track. It's good to have a side-quest planned just in case you need to cook up something new entirely. Granted, accidentally destroying a vital clue is a lot easier to recover from than, say, the players rolling too good and they wind up stopping the Antagonist from finishing their Doomsday Device. This also applies to combat... if the party is steamrolling encounters, don't be afraid to amp it up a little. Likewise, don't hesitate to dial it back a notch if they're on the receiving end of the butt-whooping.
    Mercenary Maxim 37: There is No 'Overkill.' There is merely 'Open Fire,' and 'I need to Reload.'

  5. Amen MaxVel amen'd this post.
  6. #15
    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    Heh, I had a party off my major villain on their first encounter. Needless to say, he was quickly re-dubbed 'key henchman' while I rolled up his replacement...

  7. Amen Chaotic Void amen'd this post.
  8. #16
    tWebber MaxVel's Avatar
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    OK, 'nother question:

    What's the player's role in a game?
    ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

  9. #17
    Tweeb Overlord Chaotic Void's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxVel View Post
    OK, 'nother question:

    What's the player's role in a game?
    That one's gonna be tricky to answer...

    Basically, the player's job is to create a character in which they can explore the GM's universe. There are many Player-types out there in the wonderful world of RPGs (Everyone's got a little bit of each type in 'em)

    The Actor - "Romeo? Romeo? Wherefore Art Thou, Romeo?" These are the guys and gals who play RPGs primarily for the 'Role-Playing' aspect. They'll make characters tailor-made to explore the story, and these guys couldn't Meta-Game if they tried (which is nice, especially when you're 'recycling' a plot from a movie).

    The Power Gamer - "Hail to the King, Baby!" These guys play to win. They'll have characters that are virtually indestructible (save for one REALLY obscure weakness like Inner Tubes or Unicorn Flatulence or something), or at the very least HIGHLY optimized for their chosen role.

    The Tactician - "Checkmate!" These guys are there for the challenge of combat. They love being able to plan stuff (their characters will be made accordingly) and relish the challenge of a good battle.

    The Jackass - "Hi, I'm Johnny Knoxville, and welcome to Jackass!" These players are in it to do CRAZY stuff. Sled down a hill using a Tower Shield? Yup. Suplex a Vampire? You betcha. Kill a Dragon from the inside out? Yes, and pass the Hot Sauce.

    The Casual Gamer - "Eh, I'm here for the nachos" This player is mostly there for the social interaction. Usually, they're the significant other or roommate of a regular player. They're usually willing to try almost anything, as long as it's an excuse to hang out.

    Pretty sure I'm missing a few 'types', but players are a complex lot.
    Mercenary Maxim 37: There is No 'Overkill.' There is merely 'Open Fire,' and 'I need to Reload.'

  10. #18
    tWebber Spartacus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaotic Void View Post
    That one's gonna be tricky to answer...

    Basically, the player's job is to create a character in which they can explore the GM's universe. There are many Player-types out there in the wonderful world of RPGs (Everyone's got a little bit of each type in 'em)

    The Actor - "Romeo? Romeo? Wherefore Art Thou, Romeo?" These are the guys and gals who play RPGs primarily for the 'Role-Playing' aspect. They'll make characters tailor-made to explore the story, and these guys couldn't Meta-Game if they tried (which is nice, especially when you're 'recycling' a plot from a movie).

    The Power Gamer - "Hail to the King, Baby!" These guys play to win. They'll have characters that are virtually indestructible (save for one REALLY obscure weakness like Inner Tubes or Unicorn Flatulence or something), or at the very least HIGHLY optimized for their chosen role.

    The Tactician - "Checkmate!" These guys are there for the challenge of combat. They love being able to plan stuff (their characters will be made accordingly) and relish the challenge of a good battle.

    The Jackass - "Hi, I'm Johnny Knoxville, and welcome to Jackass!" These players are in it to do CRAZY stuff. Sled down a hill using a Tower Shield? Yup. Suplex a Vampire? You betcha. Kill a Dragon from the inside out? Yes, and pass the Hot Sauce.

    The Casual Gamer - "Eh, I'm here for the nachos" This player is mostly there for the social interaction. Usually, they're the significant other or roommate of a regular player. They're usually willing to try almost anything, as long as it's an excuse to hang out.

    Pretty sure I'm missing a few 'types', but players are a complex lot.
    How would you classify the TWebbers you've gamed with?

  11. #19
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaotic Void View Post
    There are many Player-types out there in the wonderful world of RPGs (Everyone's got a little bit of each type in 'em)
    I'd underscore this and say that there are almost any imaginable combination of the traits in almost any strength relative to the rest of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaotic Void View Post
    Pretty sure I'm missing a few 'types', but players are a complex lot.
    Based on the listings of archetypes I've seen around the web over the years the only one I would personally say you are missing is "The Real Man" as differentiated from The Power Gamer and The Jackass. The Real Man is the person who enjoys the game for its own sake (unlike the casual gamer), but likes kicking in the door. As compared to the other archetypes, he probably doesn't want to bother with all the minutia required to be a power gamer in most systems, he just wants to bash some heads. I don't know how the original definition went, but this guy probably doesn't mind dying as long as it is in an awesome way, and will just pull another character sheet off a stack (or wait around with less or more grace while waiting to be revivified in systems that allow that) and keep going. May tend to power-attack for full regardless of if it is necessary...

    Actually, on second thought that sounds a lot like your definition of The Jackass... which means that the one you are missing is "The Looney". This is the guy who doesn't try to do "insanely awesome" stuff, but rather simply "utterly nutsy weird".
    Wield a trout just as often as a sword? Yep.
    Pantsy the quest-giver in the middle of the clandestine meeting at midnight in the graveyard? Sounds like fun!
    Do elaborate finger-paintings of heartwarming memories from their childhood in the blood of the dragon on the wall of his lair after the party kills them? That's the ticket!
    Have a chicken theme to all their spells, such as magic missile shooting eggs at mach 2, and fireball having what looks like a phoenix/chicken hybrid appear for a split second when the egg hits something before bursting into hundreds of flaming feathers? Indeed...

    For anyone who still doesn't get it(which is probably nobody), let's try this: Whoever is playing Pinkie Pie in the campaign represented by My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has a good bit of Looney in them, although not as much as you might think at first glance...
    Last edited by Draco Dei; 07-31-2015 at 01:34 AM.

  12. #20
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irate Canadian View Post
    What are your recommendations on how to be a good G.M?
    Let me pass along a simple tip that makes adventures almost write themselves. Every 'monster' will have a lair that is most advantageous to themselves. Once I kept this tip in mind, I was able to write encounters much easier and with better logical flows.

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