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Quark Blast wrote:
Really? You think this is the best way to keep the thread going?
Agreed, sharing the creative burden does NOT work with a canned plot. I mostly suggest it as a way of reducing GM prep work. A common complaint of why people say they don't GM, or say that railroading is necessary, is because of the prep work involved. Sharing that creative burden is one way to reduce (sometimes even eliminate) GM prep work needed to play the game.
On the flip side, if the players are truly interested in what the GM has prepped and the GM enjoys doing that prep, that can make for an awesome game.
I run both prep heavy games and zero prep games. I really do see the value in both, though in my high prep games, I still don't railroad and let the players go where their actions take them instead of wherever I thought it was going to go.
We'll have to figure out how to not have this conversation. You don't like this stuff and that's fine.
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Unfortunately, I'm not making assumptions. I've had this conversation with participants before, I've asked people what games they've tried. The responses have been limited in scope and represent one end of the spectrum of games.
"I don't like it" is a valid reason not to use or do something. It gets a little old to debate against though.
The way you did it? Yes.
Me: Have you tried Indian food? Some of it's really good.Complainer: I tried it once, didn't like it.
Me: Just once? And you formed a complete opinion on it?
Me: But you were just complaining that you wish you could try new foods...
Complainer: Yup, I want to try new foods, but I don't like new foods.
I highly recommend: Never Unprepared (available here on the paizo store). It's a good how-to book on how to reduce the time you spend prepping, and increase the efficiency of the time you do spend. It's a good read and odds are you'll find something useful in it.
Second, I also recommend playing a few games outside your normal comfort zone. Playing some of the more improvisational roleplaying games has improved my GMing significantly. You get to spend time roleplaying AND practicing skills that are useful.
Creativity isn't an innate talent, it's a skill you have to practice. Find ways to incorporate that practice into the hobby you already enjoy.
Lastly, I off-load some of that creative burden onto my players. I'll even be blunt and tell them I don't have anything prepped. Then, when they ask me a question about an NPC, location, object, etc... I turn the question back around on them. I usually add something as well. For example:
Player: Is there a magic shop in town?
As the player starts describing stuff, I take a moment to absorb what they're saying and prep an idea or two for myself. I once ran a 16 hour game over 3 days basically using that technique (combined with some generic prep and some other techniques), both players and I had a blast.
On the extreme other end of the spectrum, I also spent 6 months, on and off, working on a single location for another game, because I knew that a year long arc was going to conclude there and I wanted to have tons of stuff drawn out and prepped as best as I could. For that I knew the players would go there because they all had a group motivation and individual goals there as well. Not everything about it got used, but that just means I have some prep done in my pocket that I can repurpose if I need to.
The presence or absence of conflict is not a determining factor of sandbox vs. railroad. In fact, conflict is usually the centerpiece of a story, regardless of type (there are a few literary styles without conflict, but they aren't as common).
Something to consider, are you catering to the PC's (fictional people) or to players (you know, the other people at the table). I don't cater my games to the PC's, I cater my games to the players. I find out what they're interested in and build around that.
As a GM, I don't see the game session as a means to and expose my precious prep. Rather, I see my prep as the necessary work required to have my game session. I could give two s*&@s about my prep work as long as the session is fun. I'm willing to throw all my work out the window at the drop of a hat if the players lead me in another direction that seems fun, because that fun (for me and them) is more important than the notes I prepped.
I can always recycle my notes for something else in the future. I can't get back the time spent on the session right now.
Note that the rule doesn't say "destroyed". It says "destroyed or rendered useless".
Destroyed =/= disintegrated
An arrow that hits is no longer useful as an arrow. The matter involved doesn't cease to exist though. There's still pieces of wood, feather and metal that exist are somewhere on the battlefield.
I agree, they might not necessarily be attached to the invisible person though.
To me, the question is which do you prefer:
A) playing and having unexpected things happen
If you prefer A, then don't plan and don't railroad. If you like B more, then railroad is for you. I've known people who genuinely liked B more than A. They liked A, they just liked B more.
As both player and GM, I prefer A.
Again, that runs counter to my (and others) experiences.
I've had great experiences with people at conventions. People are polite and enthusiastic about gaming. They are there for a special occasion and want to be there.
My home games, while we're all friends, sometimes people bring their baggage with them and feel like they can unload it on the table. Sometimes that's okay, sometimes it isn't.
When PFS has problems, it's because stores aren't willing to establish rules and enforce them. It's all about boundary setting and establishing expectations. When the organizer of a space does a good job of this, you will rarely have problems... or when they do happen, they get resolved quickly. If the organizer just lets people run a muck (like a GM that can't say no) then things can go to hell in a hand basket.
It has less to do with the type of setting and much more to do with how good people are at maintaining order and etiquette. We've all been to home games that were chaos and shenanigans, and I've heard stories of bad cons as well.
Over the past 4 years, I've ran games at conventions for about 40-50 people. I don't get to pick the people who sign up for my games, I sit at my table and players pick my game. I've had two mildly disruptive players, but neither was so bad that I couldn't steer the game back on course NOR did I have to kick them out. The games were still a ton of fun for me.
Based on that sample size, it's roughly 4-5% of random strangers are disruptive to my games (but they don't ruin my sessions).
BTW, I'll be GMing at GenCon at the Games on Demand room this year. I run a game about thieves and another one about murdering gods. Possibly a third, but only if the author asks me to.
The Usual Suspect wrote:
Last year we arrived in town Wed, about 6:30 local. The line was a city block long. We went, had dinner, my friends got a shave and haircut at the barber, the line was still a city block long. My friend went back at 11 pm, the line was still a city block long.
Getting the badge shipped only costs $10 and comes with a 100% replacement guarantee.
Setting boundaries and expectations is important. Having them well established reduces the number of times you have to say "No", plus when you do say it, you aren't just being arbitrary, mean GM, you're just enforcing the already established elements.
I also make a point to give my players as much outlet for their creativity and boundary pushing as I can. Often, I give room for this beyond just their own character as well. It has the nice side effect of reducing the creative energy I need to use for the game, letting me focus on being creative on the stuff that might surprise them.
The food trucks are good. There was one with pulled pork my friends were raving about, but was gone the day I went down there. The one I had was Korean tacos and was so good I went back for seconds and thirds.
If you're budgeting for a more expensive meal, St. Elmo's is fabulous. It's a very old school steakhouse. Everything I had was very classic, nothing new or novel, but it was all prepared expertly. One of the best steaks I've ever had at a restaurant. My meal (with lots of alcohol) clocked in around $120, but I'm setting aside money to do it again (I scored a free badge and hotel room this year). The shrimp cocktail... I've remembering it and am craving another one.
The nicer restaurants are definitely a little easier to get into. They're still busy, but most con-goers are already spending so much money other places, they don't spend it on food.
Concerning dinner, it's good to just have plans. If you know you only have an hour between events, don't go to a restaurant, find a food truck or eat some snacks. The more expensive restaurants will sometimes have shorter waits. Also, the further you go from the convention center, the shorter the wait. A lot of people never go more than 5-6 blocks from the convention center. A short taxi/uber ride will get you out of that zone and greatly reduce the number of people. I think last year I never went more than 3 blocks, but I only ate at restaurants twice and had planned for lots of time both occasions.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Where are you moving to?
Not far. I really liked the neighborhood, but my precinct is only like 10 blocks by 10 blocks. Once I'm in a different precinct, I'd need to get nominated for an open seat in that precinct. Most likely, I won't even be in the same senate district.
Oddly enough, if I move to another senate district, I'm more likely to find a vacant seat.
Also, I'm going back to school on my GI bill, so I'm going to look for a place close to school. Planning on a degree in history, then getting certified for teaching. Social Studies will be a little harder to break into, but it's the subject I love the most. Ideally, I'll want to get a masters/doctorate eventually in my subject and I don't think I could do math/physics/chemistry that far.
If Tracy Hickman has influenced your life at all, I highly recommend stopping by his booth. He's one of the most sincere and friendly people I've ever met and odds are you will be able to stand and talk to him for 5 minutes. So if you haven't met him, set aside a couple minutes in the trade hall to track him down and talk.
Related, go to his Killer Breakfast. Even if you can't get a stage spot, he puts on a fun gaming style show where he kills several hundred PC's in amusing fashion. It's usually Saturday morning. I've been to it twice and highly recommend it.
Try games you've never played before. Pretty much the entire industry is at GenCon. Either that game your group refuses to try, or just something that sounds interesting. There will be people playing anything and everything, so get in something you can't get at home. Personally, I'll spend most of my time at Games on Demand, an event space that hosts small press games.
Workshops/lectures/seminars are good. I assume there are some that fill up, but I've never been to one. Usually, even if you don't have a pre-registered ticket, they're first come/first serve. If the names of the speakers aren't ultra-famous and it's not a major event (big company talking about their future releases for the next year), there's space.
If you're going to a restaurant, plan on it taking 2-3 hours during peak times (dinner peak is like 5pm to 10pm). There are 50,000 other people trying to get dinner too. Eating out all the time is also expensive. I recommend picking up some semi-healthy snacks from the grocery store and stocking your hotel room. If your hotel is downtown, you can keep everything there, otherwise pack 1-2 meals worth and bring it with you for the day. The foodtrucks have improved the past few years and can sometimes have lines, but are often a good bet for something reasonably fast and well priced.
If your voice starts to give out, cough drops and hot tea can preserve it.
I don't think you understand the purpose or usage of the "Yes and..." technique. It's not a blanket statement for all things at the table. It's an improv technique (it's a common warm-up technique or practicing tool for improv actors).
Instead of deciding things ahead of time, when a player asks a question about the story or game-world, you say "Yes, and...."
It's not a technique for talking about rules, table behavior or similar things.
I suppose we could also complain about how bad screwdrivers are for cutting lumber to appropriate lengths.
Some of it has to do with GMing being a skill set. Some skills as a player translate over, but it doesn't cover all the bases. Different game systems require different skill sets from the GM as well. Some require you to prep, some require you NOT to prep (it's a harder thing than it sounds if you're used to prepping things for games).
This is a pretty good book. It's good for new GMs as it lays out a lot of the things you'll need to do to prepare for a game session. It's great for experienced GMs who've found their life has changed now that they have careers/kids and don't have the time they used to to devote to prepping game sessions.
Curing a second batch now with maple syrup and bourbon. When I flipped it at the half-way point I took a slice to fry up and test. It tasted off, will see if another 3-4 days improves it.
Either too much air in the container (tried a different packing method) or I *gasp* used too much bourbon. Will do a third batch to test what went wrong.
Going back to school after nearly 20 years. Got my acceptance letter last week, so went and picked up a bottle of scotch to treat myself. Brought home Compass Box's Peat Monster ($50). It's very, very peaty, but also very well balanced. The peat is a little overpowering on the nose, but once you take a drink it mellows out. The flavors really linger as well.
It's not the best islay I've ever had. It's not the smoothest, peatiest, saltiest, smokiest, etc. It's a really good combination of those elements though and at it's price, is actually a really good buy IMO.
I like the Lagavulin 16, Laphroaig 18, Coal Ila 18 and several others better than this, but they're also all nearly double the price (or more). I wouldn't call this cheap, but it will satisfy my islay cravings more reasonably.
I've the last segment of a campaign coming up in 2 months and we're looking to add a layer of mechanics as a resource for the players and to help track/adjudicate progress.
Long story short, the players were part of a crusade that fell apart. The players went off on their own and have resurrected a god and restored a portion of their religion. Now they're going back to the mortal plane and will be attempting to build a coalition army to vanquish their foes.
I'm looking for suggestions of any game/supplement that handles this in a mechanical fashion. Please limit suggestions to things that are in print or are easily obtainable.
Not looking for mass combat rules, or single scene diplomacy/intrigue rules, but rather long term diplomacy rules, ideally stuff that operates on the scale of months or years.
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Thanks for the info....is this the same group that's doing Dungeon World?
No. Dungeon World was a hack of Apocalypse World. Apocalypse World is the game that Dungeon World got it's rules from. The core mechanices (roll 2d6, get a 10+ or 7-9) are the same, but the game plays very, very differently.
Vincent Baker wrote Apocolypse World and it was released with either an OGL, CC or similar type license. He's also the author of Dogs in the Vineyard.
The good thing about AW is that it lends itself to short campaign arcs and require virtually no planning on the GM's part. In fact, planning is actively discouraged in the game. The down side, is it doesn't do epic, long campaigns well and the mechanics will actively fight you if you try to have a plan.
With a single set of characters, the game can play really well out to about 12 sessions (or about 40-50 hours of game play). After that, you'll either want to start retiring characters and bringing in new ones, or wrap up the story.
There is some resource management in the game, scarcity and even lack of certain things, but it focuses more on the brutality surrounding those scarcities. Think of the Mad Max movies for example. The resources of gas and water are rare, but often as not, the real story is about how people act around those rare resources.
I hope they don't do the Destiny thing and keep it out of the game, I'd love to learn more about the history and setting of the game, along with the characters. I just don't want to have to go out of game to do it.
Just curious, what do you think that would look like in a game that's entirely designed around PvP matchmaking where matches last about 10 minutes?
The game doesn't have a single player mode, there is no story mode. The game is entirely built around PvP.
Yup, there can be a lot of components to a game/book/story/etc. Which is why I think specific and accurate terminology serves the conversation much better than using words that relies on the assumption that everyone has all had the same set of experiences and preferences.
thejeff, I want to make it clear...
I'm not arguing that these don't share elements of Medieval European Fantasy, my point is that THAT is the proper term for it... not "traditional fantasy". There is no genre of "traditional fantasy"... or if you go ahead and look around at sites that do use the term, you're going to find a really wide breadth and width which is going to include things like Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter. And I highly doubt that when you and Tormskull used the term "traditional fantasy" for your games, you were looking to include those two works within your definition.
Medieval European Fantasy = good term
Burroughs, Howard, Zelazny, Leiber, Vance, Camp, Lovecraft and Moorcock (most are listed as influences on D&D in the AD&D DMG as well). I'm not saying they're the only important authors, but rather important authors who's work doesn't fit the mold of Arthurian/Tolkien fantasy.
And before someone responds "But those are science fiction", yes, they're fiction, but there really isn't any science in them, and many works are broadly accepted as being within the fantasy genre.
Steve Geddes wrote:
So, your definition of "traditional" is anything in D&D before say... 1985?
I'm fine if we want to use the term "Medieval European Fantasy", because I can get behind and understand that term. I'm going to point out flaws when people say "traditional fantasy" though. Because usually they're talking about "Medieval European Fantasy" which is only a subset of fantasy and isn't necessarily even "traditional". Other subgenre's are older and have deeper roots.
But which one is "traditional fantasy"? Or is it Burroughs' Barsoom series?
Orfamay Quest wrote:
The article you linked on TV Tropes is "Medieval European Fantasy", are you making the claim that this is "traditional"?
I'd point out, that if you look in the AD&D DMG, page 224, you'll find a lot of authors who get their work classified under different tropes on that website, such as Sword and Sorcery, which is held as different by most sources (including TV Tropes).
In fact, on that page you won't find many authors who fit Tolkien's mold, other than Tolkien. There are some similarities, but there are also significant differences as well.
Tolkien was definitely AN influence on D&D, but he wasn't the only one. Some of the other influences include science fantasy and science fiction writers.
Picked up a bottle of Rowan's Creek. The whiskey comes from an unidentified source, as Rowan's Creek "Distillery" is just a bottler. The whiskey does come from a Kentucky source, just don't know which one.
It's a bit rough around the edges, the 100 proof definitely rears it's head in both the nose and the taste. It has most of the classic bourbon smells/tastes, vanilla, leather, caramel, but also a hint of mint. It's a pleasant bourbon, but nothing out of the ordinary. It does have enough bold flavor that I think it would make some really good cocktails though.
I got mine for $32, which just wasn't worth it for me. It's not a bad whiskey and I can drink it neat, it just doesn't have enough individuality to hold a spot in my cabinet.
I just finished making my own bacon. Made a few mistakes, but it's really forgiving. Kept it simple, honey, sugar, salt and pepper. Cured it for 7 days, then loaded it into the smoker with hickory for about 4 hours. The smoker got a little hot on me, so it cooked the bacon a little and rendered some of the fat, but it still tastes delicious.
The biggest pain is the space it takes up in your fridge. Other than that, it's ridiculously easy and this is probably the 3rd best bacon I've ever had, even with all the mistakes.
Costco in our area now sells whole pork belly. It's not the highest quality pork, but it was good enough for our purposes.