On November 5th, Mike Shea of SlyFlourish interviewed Rob Heinsoo, one of the lead designers of 13th Age, live on Google Hangouts.
Advice on Game Mastering, beyond the very basics, is often a matter firmly rooted in perspective. We’ve all got our methods, and the people who disagree with them. We all sling around maxims and codify buzzwords that try to illuminate the abstracts that go on when we have fun at the helm of a game. The Lazy Dungeon Master by Michael E. Shea, AKA Sly Flourish offers a lot of advice that is worth considering in this arena.
Back in one of my earliest Architect DM posts I said that structure was one of the most overlooked elements of dungeon design. These days most of the published dungeon maps that I see are not bad with regards to structure, but from what I’ve heard this is still something that a lot of people would like to learn about for their personal, hand drawn dungeon designs.
Whenever I get a chance I make a pointed effort to read about or look at a map of other DM’s and GM’s roleplaying game worlds. I find it fascinating to look at them both objectively and subjectively, to see things that I may never have come up with or elements that are similar to things in the worlds I’ve created. Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a handful of elements that pop up in the majority of people’s fantasy game worlds and these elements have been some of the inspiration for earlier world building posts in my Architect DM posts.
Mike Shea of Sly Flourish and Michael Mallen, practicing psychologist and author of the Id DM D&D blog, discuss the psychology of the gaming table. This podcast discusses some of Mallen’s excellent studies into the mind of the players and the dungeon master and statistical studies of the Penny Arcade D&D podcasts.
Let me know if this situation sounds familiar to you: You’re the DM/GM for your gaming group and you’ve just wrapped up an adventure, and you have at least a whole week until the next one. You sit down the next day, or even that very night, and start the adventure planning process. Over the next few days you stay on track but before you know it the next adventure is looming and you feel like despite your best efforts the game is still not as ready as you feel it should be.
Mike Shea and Erik Scott De Bie talk sandbox gaming, specifically in Dungeons & Dragons 4e.
Both Sly Flourish and I have talked a lot lately about the issues we’ve run into at epic levels in D&D. While there are certainly rules issues, I believe fixing them all would take up a lot more than single column. However, I do have some ideas on alternate ways to restructure how the campaign […]
D&D 4e is a wonderful refined combat-focused RPG but it scales poorly as levels increase. While many of the elements of 4e scale along a linear path, many powers and effects scale at a much greater rate resulting in large imbalances between PCs and the threats they face at higher levels. This makes it hard for dungeon masters to challenge PCs.
Mike Shea and Dave Chalker talk about running epic tier games in D&D 4e.