Tag: GM

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A Family Gathering

The pool was a brilliant shade of blue, a dazzling contrast to the rocky hill of Red Jasper that housed it. Many alive on Samsarras believe that the demon realm of the Sribinet can not house such beauty, but they are wrong. There are sites of natural wonder in that damned place that would leave them in tears. While many of its denizens are monstrous in appearance, there are others who match that grotesqueness with their inhuman beauty. Those among the living that have seen them are hard pressed to say which they fear more.

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A Different Take on Hit Points

Some one rolls dice, you get hit, you lose hit points. You run out of hit points, you’re dead. That is how D&D works.

What are hit points, though? Most people view it as a relative measure of health.  You get stabbed, your health decreases. You get stabbed again, the process repeats itself. Eventually, you just run out of health.

What I’m proposing here isn’t a new concept. I know I got the idea from reading about it somewhere else many years ago. If I could remember where, I’d give it some credit. It was an idea that really stuck with me, though. Hit points actually represents a number of things: health, how tired you are, the strength of your sword arm… hit points ultimately show how close you are to death, but not necessarily health. Continue reading “A Different Take on Hit Points”

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Describe Your Combat

“I rolled a 17. Does that hit?”

“Yeah. Roll for damage.”

“Okay, that’s… 8 points of piercing and 6 points of radiant damage.”

“Okay, next player…”

Sound familiar? Combat starts and the game suddenly becomes just a long drown out battle of dice rolling, especially when all your flashy powers are used up. It feels sterile and players can quickly become bored if they’re just waiting to roll above a certain number. How can you keep combat fresh and keep the players engaged?

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D&D&Anxiety

Mental health has a stigma surrounding it. We all know this. It’s a tough thing to talk about, which makes it a tough thing to deal with. I’ve urged many a friend to open up and spent a good amount of time letting people know that their feelings are valid and that they aren’t their anxiety. Sometimes just being heard makes it a little better, takes the edge off. Sometimes talking about it helps.

I’ve found this advice much easier to follow when I’m on the listening side than the talking side, however.

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Tips I learned from wrestling.

By now, we’ve started season two of Tales from the Tower on Twitch. We’re playing World Wide Wrestling, a game about being a professional wrestler. We’ve had a blast getting together costumes and creating the back stories for this little world. I’ve personally spent a lot of time on YouTube watching old matches and promos for research. While it’s been a lot of fun, I’ve also learned some things.

Wrestling has some great villains.

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In Defense of Alignment

I just want to start off by saying that there are very few wrong ways to play an RPG. If you and your players are having fun and everyone is comfortable, you are doing it right. From hack and slash dungeon delvers to in depth method acting role players, its all valid. Its a game. Have fun.

That said, I’ve often seen people talk smack on alignment. They find it limiting and hindering to their role playing. If their character wants to save a town and then kidnap its children all in the same day, than by Rerox’s beard, they should be able to do it. Who in this life can really just be summed up by two words?

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Who Put This Dungeon Here?

Many people see the dungeon as the corner stone of any good D&D game. It’s right in the name, for Rerox’s sake. Heroes go down into unknowable depths to kill things and get loot. The farther down you go, the more powerful the baddies. It’s a reoccurring trope. It’s also something I moved away from for a long time.

The game has evolved greatly over the years, largely in terms of play styles. D&D became less about about “kick in the door” and more about the story. As a game created by a bunch of war gamers, this was quite the transition. This was not Dungeons and Dragons original vision. There was a column Gary Gygax wrote for Dragon magazine that advised against becoming too much of an actor, as it would take away from the game portion of role playing games. I can’t find it for the life of me, but it was fascinating. If anyone has an issue number, drop me an e-mail.

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The Game of Making Maps

This is the third in the series of articles about GMless games. This week’s game is pretty special and unlike anything else I’ve had the pleasure of playing. As you go, everyone works together to tell stories. They are stories of community and the triumphs and difficulties of belonging to one. Often times, it’s not tidy or conclusive, just like real communities and discussions. You don’t know much about it when you start. All you really have to count on is that you have one quiet year.

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Skip the GM

Its not all together unheard of, but I’m one of those rare RPG players who prefers GMing to being a player character. I love world building, I love sculpting back story, and I love coming up with narrative on the fly. While I don’t mind playing a PC, being a GM is really what draws me to the game. It feels good to put my creativity into overdrive.

That said, sometimes I don’t have the energy or I want a different experience. There are a variety of games out there that allow you to skip having a GM all together. From games where everyone gets to play a character to games where you get to solo play, there is a great variety out there to delve into. Over the next few weeks, I’ll talk about some of my favorites. First off, let’s start with a Fiasco.

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