GM Tips: Expand your reading material

One of the aspects of the roleplaying that I really enjoy is producing campaign wikis/blogs, etc that provide more of an insight into currently running games and campaign worlds, it lets me keep my writing-hand in, keeps up my enthusiasm between games and also helps refresh my (unfortunately poor) memory concerning the salient details of the campaign.

Another benefit–and one that I don’t see mentioned all that often–is that doing this work has encouraged me to read information that I might not have looked at before.

My most recent example of this came whilst I was setting up a series of pages on this site for my Rose of Westhaven campaign, particularly the entries concerning the fictional calendar that I have created–using Donjon’s excellent Fantasy Calendar Creator–for the game. Days, months, seasons, moon phases and all those sort of things that go into a calendar are elements that I have often neglected in past game and I’m hoping to bring them more centre-stage to my campaign. While setting up the three moons of my campaign world using the calendar, it occurred to me that I had no idea what the figures in the lunar cycle section of the calendar creator were referring to. A quick search on Google and Wikipedia lead to me reading a wiki-page about the Me tonic cycle and various methods of measuring times used by different cultures throughout history.

All of this was information that I had not even considered before and–even if I only remember a fraction of it–it has still educated me and will hopefully enrich my game in the future. When you’re writing up your session notes in future, if you see something that you don’t know much about whether it be a style of architecture, settlement demographics, religions or whatever, spend a few minutes reading around the subject on the internet, you certainly won’t make anything worse by having more knowledge.

RP Rambles: What I love about roleplaying

Telling Stories

I’ve been giving a lot of thought recently to my future and what I would like to be doing with my life, and however I look at it I keep returning to the idea of writing–and in particular storytelling–as something that I find both very gratifying and extremely important to me. Storytelling is one of the main reasons that I got into RP-ing and, no matter how my GM-ing abilities and gaming experience may have changed it’s that central desire to tell a story with other people that keeps bringing me back to the game time-after-time. Continue reading

Letting People Down

Aside

I’ve often bemoaned the fact that real-life has an increasing tendency to interfere with roleplaying; gone are the times when I could RP more than a couple of times a week, my gaming activities now have to be fit around other important activities with Tetris-like precision and, as is often the case with Tetris, all it takes is a single piece out of shape to mess up your entire game.

Nowhere is this more obvious than having to bow out of games, especially if it is last minute, this has happened a fair few times when I’ve been in the GM-ing seat as people’s work rotas change last minute or people are working on zero hour contracts, but recently I’ve also had to pull out of a couple of games with less notice that I would like. Most recently was a game run by Ian F. White, part of his Lady Yoko’s wedding saga, a loose grouping of games involving a shifting cast of protagonists, I’d played in one of these games before and greatly enjoyed it, however, I’ve had to pull out of the last session since I was asked to work late to cover the Christmas rush.

Tvader real lifehis is one of the annoying things about real-life priorities, with Christmas just round the corner and with the spectre of redundancy looming early next year (although I’m trying to stay positive about that, seeing as a chance to re-train and focus on doing something I actually enjoy), I can’t really afford to turn down extra money at the moment so I’ve had to pull out of the game, much as it galls me to do so since I don’t like letting people down, especially at the last minute.

Contrast this with my student days where I was playing in at least one game a night (often more at weekends) whereas now free time to just relax and game is a precious commodity. In an attempt to minimise the amount of pulling out of games I have to do, I’m going to start limiting myself to only signing up for games that run on weekends or when I know I’ve got time off work, it might mean that I get to play a bit less but hopefully it’ll minimise the amount of people I have to let down in this manner due to real-life priorities.

Matters of Fate: Campaign Creation Demonstration

In this podcast myself and some volunteers demonstrate how you can create a campaign setting using the Fate Core rules.

Many thanks to the people who helped with this demo:
o Thashif Muran
o David Hodgkinson
o Ian F White – www.studio7auk.webs.com