“You all meet in a tavern.” We’ve all played in a campaign that started like this. Some DM’s will just ask for names. Other put it as “who are you and why are you here?”, hoping to grease the backstory wheels a bit. This is where you find out who’s really into backstory and roleplaying, who wants to get their axes bloody as soon as possible, who’s just along for the ride, and who wants to pickpocket someone in the first fifteen seconds of the campaign because they rolled a rogue.
I’ve recently discovered a pattern common to the gaming sessions where I’m not entirely satisfied with the way things went. I realized that it’s partly because encounters reach a state of complexity such that players become confused about the best way to navigate through them. The goal becomes fuzzy or the options are either too numerous or too complex mechanically to be used in full.
This post bring together all the articles I wrote about Robin Laws of Good Game Mastering from January 2008 to July 2009. For those who haven’t heard or seen it, this book, published in 1999, gives advice on being a Game Master (irrespective of game systems). The series was aimed at revisiting it in the […]
Back in January 2008, I purchased a PDF called Robin Laws’ of Good Game Mastering over at the Steve Jackson Games’ PDF store. I had heard of that book from many GMs and I had seen it at my favorite game store. More importantly however, I had recently read (and been blown away by) his […]
A few weeks ago I got a very interesting letter. I joined my past 2 live tabletop campaigns as a new player joining a pre-established group of players for a new campaign. In both, I’ve encountered a particularly nasty type of player that has caused no end of strife and grief, as follows: 1. Their […]
In my discussions with several readers and friends, I noticed that many RPG group are divided into two broad categories of gamers. One one side you have your min/maxed, Butt kicking power gamers who are on the lookout for the next fight. On the other you have the psychodrama-loving story-starved players who only truly become […]
About a year ago, I wrote about player types and motivations. It’s a subject that’s very near my DMing heart because I believe that the recipe of a good campaign lies in understanding your players and catering to their specific needs as much as you cater to yours in your game. Lately, I’ve been musing […]