GameMastery Guide Preview: Do it Yourself!

Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm really fond of all of Pathfinder's Adventure Paths. Being able to pick out my ideas, or having art for villains or creatures I invented, or hearing about how players contended with challenges we came up with all does my inner GM proud. But although we encourage every GM to tinker and make any of our published adventures theirs, there's a rich sense of satisfaction in knowing that your players have enjoyed the story you invented and the menaces you alone created.

Trick is, being a GM can be really hard... and time consuming... and a right pain in the...

With the GameMastery Guide, we've sought to help with that. While it's an easy claim to say, "Paizo Publishing's GameMastery Guide makes being a GM a breeze!" that over simplifies the matter. Being a GM can be a challenge, but that's part of what makes being a GM interesting, and what makes running a fun and memorable game a real achievement. Rather than trying to take all the work of being a GM out of your hands, the GameMastery Guide strives to help with that work, providing you with tools to inspire your storytelling, to provide PCs with details you didn't prepare, and to help you adlib when your party zigs when you expected them to zag. Such tools become most evident in the more than 100 charts and tables organized throughout this tome, providing you with facts, details, and inspirational springboards to keep your game fresh. Check out the sampling of clipped charts below for a peek at what I'm talking about. Hope you've got your percentile dice handy!

As for next week's GameMastery Guide Preview, in celebration of our wayward art directorix's return: More Art!

F. Wesley Schneider
Managing Editor

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Game Mastering Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
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Dark Archive

Mm, fried cow-heal, just like mom use to make! However the clear soup tastes a little watered down to me.

Silver Crusade

rolls

Make way for the Foolhardy Violet Fools of Swords and Talkers!

We're here to restore the claimant of the Burggraaf's...uh...seat.

And after that we're all going to get some good, hearty clear soup and then it's off to Peppermint Palace Pastries for further revelry!

YEAHHHHHHH!

srsly, <3 random tables


Well, my Undaunted Wolverines For the Victims...

*moment of silence*

...

*ahem*

...have come to this fine tobacconist in search of a privy! Don't worry. We'll make a purchase, but the haggis they serve at Jebs & Sons has given us a case of the boiled trotters, and we can't be expected to recover the Kouropalates' lost culture in such a state!

What's that? Oh, I think he used to do something with paper plates, glue and macaroni... but high-concept and ironic. I don't know. The Wolverines avoid the whole downtown scene. In any case, about the privy?

Please?

(<3 random tables, too!)

Contributor

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

ThelistsarebackTHELISTSAREBACK!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Silver Crusade

Richard Pett wrote:

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

ThelistsarebackTHELISTSAREBACK!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

YOU FORGOT TO ROLL

Contributor

Ugh, with every blog post I become more excited for this. Any chance I can get mine shipped early? *holds out $20*


Oh how I wish this would magically appear at the bookstore over the weekend. Tables as far as the die can roll...


<sarcasm>Wow, a McGuffin chart...all you need are three thug encounters and a final bad guy and you can generate your own PFS module</sarcasm>.

Seriously though, probably the single most useful chart ever. The old Chaosium Cities book had a similar "quest" generator.

CJ

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Couldn't just call it the "Sailors and Sea Men" table could you?

Dark Archive

I like the menu list. That is usually one of the biggest times I need to come up with something on the fly. The party unexpected stops at a inn and wants to know what they have.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

*sigh* .... I may finally retire my old AD&D DMG.

.... maybe.

(pats the DMG gently ... "there, there, it'll be okay.")


I have Ultimate Toolbox, but I guess this is good for those that don't. :)


There's something wrong with table 7-5!
"Mundane room characteristics"

"27-28 Lots of dried blood."

Beg pardon? What sort of "mundane room" has lots of dried blood? I content that lots of dried blood make a mundane room anything but.

Or maybe I just live in a more sheltered area.


KaeYoss wrote:

There's something wrong with table 7-5!

"Mundane room characteristics"

"27-28 Lots of dried blood."

Beg pardon? What sort of "mundane room" has lots of dried blood? I content that lots of dried blood make a mundane room anything but.

Or maybe I just live in a more sheltered area.

Butchers..

Flensers..thats the guys who strip the flesh from skins before they go for curing.

Room that has been used as a makeshift aid station.

I'm sure theres more but that's all i can come up with in less than a minute

Sovereign Court

DM Wellard wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:

There's something wrong with table 7-5!

"Mundane room characteristics"

"27-28 Lots of dried blood."

Beg pardon? What sort of "mundane room" has lots of dried blood? I content that lots of dried blood make a mundane room anything but.

Or maybe I just live in a more sheltered area.

Butchers..

Flensers..thats the guys who strip the flesh from skins before they go for curing.

Room that has been used as a makeshift aid station.

I'm sure theres more but that's all i can come up with in less than a minute

:) Nosebleed

Dark Archive

KaeYoss wrote:

There's something wrong with table 7-5!

"Mundane room characteristics"

"27-28 Lots of dried blood."

Beg pardon? What sort of "mundane room" has lots of dried blood? I content that lots of dried blood make a mundane room anything but.

Or maybe I just live in a more sheltered area.

What at least one room of your house doesn't?

Contributor

KaeYoss wrote:

There's something wrong with table 7-5!

"Mundane room characteristics"

"27-28 Lots of dried blood."

Beg pardon? What sort of "mundane room" has lots of dried blood? I content that lots of dried blood make a mundane room anything but.

Compared to table 7-6 Exotic Room Characteristics, featuring such details as "Filled with giant spider husks" and "Weeps to itself," a few blood smears don't seem to bad.

Contributor

In other news, I got into the office today to find two copies of the GameMastery Guide on every desk in the place, meaning they've reached our warehouse. Shouldn't be too long now! Just a few more weeks!


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
In other news, I got into the office today to find two copies of the GameMastery Guide on every desk in the place, meaning they've reached our warehouse. Shouldn't be too long now! Just a few more weeks!

So you're saying there will be a raft of them at PaizoCon? ;)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
In other news, I got into the office today to find two copies of the GameMastery Guide on every desk in the place, meaning they've reached our warehouse. Shouldn't be too long now! Just a few more weeks!

Woot! Shiny...

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
In other news, I got into the office today to find two copies of the GameMastery Guide on every desk in the place, meaning they've reached our warehouse. Shouldn't be too long now! Just a few more weeks!

Does this mean that people who have a subscription will be getting them in the next week or so? (Or are these just preview copies to arrive?)

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

I LOVE RANDOM CHARTS

This book is hitting my sweet spot, and hard.

Grand Lodge

I'd love to be reading my Gamemastery guide on the long lonly flight home.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

If we're going to PaizoCon, can we just hold our subscriptions and pick them up there?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Kevin Mack wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
In other news, I got into the office today to find two copies of the GameMastery Guide on every desk in the place, meaning they've reached our warehouse. Shouldn't be too long now! Just a few more weeks!
Does this mean that people who have a subscription will be getting them in the next week or so? (Or are these just preview copies to arrive?)

The subscriber copies should be going out in mid-June, right around PaizoCon. We do hope to allow PaizoCon attendees to opt to pick up their June subscription products at the show... stay tuned.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

DaveMage wrote:
I have Ultimate Toolbox, but I guess this is good for those that don't. :)

Don't worry—there's a lot of stuff other than tables for you...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I believe Table 7-5 (Mundane Room Descriptions) has a typo. It probably should read "choked with webs" rather than "chocked with webs."

Dark Archive

CNichols wrote:
I believe Table 7-5 (Mundane Room Descriptions) has a typo. It probably should read "choked with webs" rather than "chocked with webs."

doubtful as chocked is a word meaning

adv
as closely or tightly as possible

according to

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/chocked


Vic Wertz wrote:
DaveMage wrote:
I have Ultimate Toolbox, but I guess this is good for those that don't. :)
Don't worry—there's a lot of stuff other than tables for you...

Oh, I was just referring to the tables - I'm very much looking forward to everything else!


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:


Compared to table 7-6 Exotic Room Characteristics, featuring such details as "Filled with giant spider husks" and "Weeps to itself," a few blood smears don't seem to bad.

Nah, that explanation doesn't work at all. "Not as weird as really weird but still weird" might not have such a great ring to it, but this "this is nothing, I've seen worse" Just doesn't cut it.

Maybe I'm just bitter because my "I killed only one! That can't count. Genghis Khan killed thousands!" defense didn't work.

DM Wellard wrote:


Butchers..

Change your butcher. Right now. Seriously. They guys are supposed to clean up regularly. Like, often enough so there is no dried-up blood.

DM Wellard wrote:


Room that has been used as a makeshift aid station.

Yeah, perfectly mundane. Happens every day. They fix someone up, and they totally not clean up the place afterwards.

DM Wellard wrote:


I'm sure theres more but that's all i can come up with in less than a minute

Is there any that doesn't involve the people in charge being epic-level messies?

Maybe I just lead a way-too-sheltered life.

Contributor

KaeYoss wrote:
Nah, that explanation doesn't work at all...

Mundane, in this sense, merely means "not magical." As this title distinguishes between two side by side charts, one full of effects that could occur in the real word and one full of effects that cannot, the word "mundane" works fine. And if at anytime a GM rolls on this chart and finds that the result is "not mundane enough" for his tastes (I can't believe I just typed that), the solution is but a casual tap of a percentile die away.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:


Mundane, in this sense, merely means "not magical." As this title distinguishes between two side by side charts, one full of effects that could occur in the real word and one full of effects that cannot, the word "mundane" works fine. And if at anytime a GM rolls on this chart and finds that the result is "not mundane enough" for his tastes (I can't believe I just typed that), the solution is but a casual tap of a percentile die away.

But now I'm excited for a more literal use of the word mundane!

01) a cobweb
02) dust above the door jamb
03) a stray hair
04) stale crumbs
05) a piece of straw

:)

Contributor

Ha!

06) water stain
07) scuffs on the floor
08) a stray leaf
09) a dead fly
10) lint

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

11) A pie. And no orc.

Contributor

Vic Wertz wrote:
11) A pie. And no orc.

WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA!!! Mundane Vic! Lets ramp this back. None of this miraculous mystery pie appearing magically in the middle of a labyrinth, suggesting all manner of unspeakable ingredients, otherworldy bakers, and fiendish confectioners.

Crumbs: maybe. We'll talk.

KaeYoss wrote:
Begin Tirade!

Just FYI, man. I'm not trying to mock you here, I'm totally on board with your comment. But, as you can see, we are tangent prone. Especially on weekends.


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA!!! Mundane Vic! Lets ramp this back. None of this miraculous mystery pie appearing magically in the middle of a labyrinth, suggesting all manner of unspeakable ingredients, otherworldly bakers, and fiendish confectioners.

You rang? *holds out a delicious +3 Peanut Butter Pie of Awesome*

Grand Lodge

And most importaintly...There is no cake....

Grand Lodge

Lilith wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA!!! Mundane Vic! Lets ramp this back. None of this miraculous mystery pie appearing magically in the middle of a labyrinth, suggesting all manner of unspeakable ingredients, otherworldly bakers, and fiendish confectioners.

You rang? *holds out a delicious +3 Peanut Butter Pie of Awesome*

Look out....Orc!

Dark Archive

DaveMage wrote:
I have Ultimate Toolbox, but I guess this is good for those that don't. :)

Yeah, this tickled my Toolbox sweet spot, too. Dragon and Dungeon had a surprising number of really cool random charts during the Paizo Age. Pett's were the best: "100 Useless Things" and the like. I've collected them and a lot of the best stuff from Toobox and other d20 books into a Handy GM Guide in a 3-ring binder.


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:
Nah, that explanation doesn't work at all...
Mundane, in this sense, merely means "not magical."

Who says the blood isn't magical? ;-)

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:


And if at anytime a GM rolls on this chart and finds that the result is "not mundane enough" for his tastes (I can't believe I just typed that), the solution is but a casual tap of a percentile die away.

Now that you explained it, I have a much better feeling. I felt having a list of mundane mundane rooms was overdoing it a little.

You still need to have a stern word with whoever didn't clean up his room after his human sacrifice. It's one thing to be evil, but that's no excuse to be sloppy.


12) Stamp collection
13) A couple of pins
14) A half-eaten sandwich
15) A quarter-eaten sandwich
16) A three-quarter-eaten sandwich
17) A harmonica

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

Richard Pett wrote:

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

ThelistsarebackTHELISTSAREBACK!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

And my eyelid just stopped twitching last week... :)

Dark Archive

18) a scarf
19) a woolly glove
20) a moth

Contributor

Golbez57 wrote:
Pett's were the best: "100 Useless Things" and the like.

Oh, did I mention that Rich Pett and Hal Maclean are the authors of all of the tables in this book? Rich and Hal did some fantastic and often hilarious work back in the Campaign Workbook/Class Acts days and such has not been forgotten! If you liked getting a chart here and there from those mad geniuses every few months, the charts in the GMG are like getting several years worth of that condensed into one giant shot.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sir Pett did the tables ?

No ...

Noooo ....

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo .......

I'M ON A HORSE !!!

Contributor

Gorbacz wrote:
I'M ON A HORSE !!!

HA! Awesome.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I'M ON A HORSE !!!
HA! Awesome.

The moment I saw that ad I thought "Hey, it looks like somebody rolled on random DM stuff tables".

Dark Archive

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Golbez57 wrote:
Pett's were the best: "100 Useless Things" and the like.
Oh, did I mention that Rich Pett and Hal Maclean are the authors of all of the tables in this book?

Now *THAT* explains everything... dried blood is a completely mundane and normal characteristic in Pett's attic *shudder*.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

I can't wait for my copy. I can already tell this book will make life considerably easier (at least as far as gaming goes).

Dark Archive

DaveMage wrote:
I have Ultimate Toolbox, but I guess this is good for those that don't. :)

I'm thinking this will be of more use than the "Uses for a Gnome" table, maybe not as funny, but definitely more useful.

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