Short Takes 02/02/09

A firework in Bratislava, Slovakia, 2005

Image via Wikipedia

Posts I’ve found of use lately:

I voiced my wish to see some chance of spell failure in D&D in my recent post about Fantasy Magic. Having been called out by Bonemaster I have put together my suggestions as to how to use spell failure. – 6d6Fireball

D6 Fantasy, the system I’m using to develop Project Valiant, allows for spell failure but doesn’t really detail what exactly happens when it occurs. 6d6 Fireball posted a table I’ve swiped and modified for my own games. I’ve chosen to use a d10 instead of a d30 because I prefer Read the rest of this entry »

Game Masters and Leadership Skills: Part 4

Previous Entries: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

In any game the leader can only go where the players are willing to follow, whether it be a Guild Leader in World of Warcraft or a Game Master of a tabletop role-playing game. If the players won’t follow, you have no game. And there are really two ways you can convince them to do this. The Stick and the Carrot.

The Stick, used very sparingly and with extremely judicious care, can be extremely effective Read the rest of this entry »

Game Masters and Leadership Skills: Part 3

By this time, having read Part 1 and Part 2, you should have some idea of what your style is and where at least a few of your weaknesses are. If you’re like me, at one time or another you’ve looked around and wondered if you should even being doing this job or not. Sometimes it feels like my faults far, far outweigh my blessings.

If you’ve felt like this, a quiz like this one can help you decide whether or not to continue trying to do the job. Designed to measure the motivation of business leaders, alot of the questions certainly apply to those of us who try to herd kittens by running role-playing games.

And motivation is the real key here. Read the rest of this entry »

Interlude: Short Takes 01/26/09

Former Pakistani Prim...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

These entries will be lists of links I’ve found useful recently from other blogs. For almost all of these,  I actually used it in some way to make my games better and will write here how I went about doing so. At the very end, I’ll include links back to those who linked to me, if any.

Currently the players are on the hunt for the Veil of Convenient Illusions, which was last seen somewhere in the Constitutional Democratic Monarchy of Estalasia. – Wyatt

If you haven’t yet read Wyatt’s attempt to plan a skill encounter, Read the rest of this entry »

Interlude: Character Death

detail from an 18...

Image via Wikipedia

One of the hardest things about rpgs [sic] isn’t prep, or out-maneuvering fire-breathing dragons but keeping a group of players engaged in what you are doing on a long term basis. – Advanced Gaming & Theory

Part of the challenge of any game is that you can lose. People tend to be competitive in many endeavors, not just games, and they want to win. If they know they can win, most games, and roleplaying games are no exception, become boring and stale very quickly. The very real risk of losing keeps a game fresh and interesting.

While most roleplaying games are not the game master versus the players, they are the players versus the environment.The environment challenges Read the rest of this entry »