I’m a few days late with this. My in-laws are in town, so my weekend was pretty packed up with family stuff and car maintenance stuff and rescuing a friend from his house for a few hours of chatting over dinner.
In the end, the weekend escaped me. Now that I’m back at the office, I can relax and get some things done… like this post!
Mike spends some time getting all sorts of excited over several products, kickstarters, and other cool stuff in the RPG realm. This isn’t along the lines of his usually awesome advice articles. This is more in the vein of “look at this cool stuff!” Indeed, there is some really cool stuff in there. The Blackclaw Gnoll has me intrigued, and the image accompanying the critter is downright chilling. No way I’d want to meet that thing in a dark alley… or in a sunlight field of flowers, for that matter.
Here’s another /. article on D&D, but this time about WotC teaming up with AltspaceVR to create some virtual reality goodness for the D&D game. I’m a little hesitant to get very excited about this announcement for a couple of reasons. The first is the expense of VR gear. I know it’s getting cheaper, but it’s not quite at a price point where you can have a GM and 4-6 players around the table in an affordable manner. The second reason is that not everyone can enjoy VR tech. One of my friends gets horrible motion sickness from VR-style interactions. Another has no depth perception (despite having both eyes functioning) because of a disconnect in his brain. He can’t fully immerse in VR tech either. I think it’s cool that this is being worked on, but it’s not something that will replace my imagination anytime soon.
Mike is proclaiming this post to be the first in a 13 part series. (My money is that he’ll extend it to at least 15 or 16 posts. Sorry, Mike. Just being honest, here.) Even though it looks to be an extensive read, I’m incredibly excited for this series! I’m a writer (short stories, novels, game materials, etc.) in addition to being a gamer, so I want to see how the collision of these two worlds will impact me. The segment on the confident writer really struck home for me. I grew up with piles of insecurities. I got tired of living life that way, and adjusted my outlook to become more confident over the course of a few years. I’m now a person that knows I can do anything I want to set my mind to… except with my writing. I still have my childhood insecurities wrapping me up when it comes to my writing. I still put it out in the world, but I’m never “certain” it’s going to be accepted or published or will make it. This segment of the first post really struck home for me and helped me unwrap some of those layers of insecurities. Thanks, Mike!
Ace has a pretty good post about how to host a game. This doesn’t relate to running the game, but targets the hosts of the group for those folks where the gaming occurs at their house. I gotta say that the people hosting my monthly Pathfinder game have nailed the ambiance with a good space, great themed music in the background (the key here is that the music is background sounds, not the primary), and cooking take ‘n’ bake pizza for the group where the group pitches in to offset the costs of said pizza. Go check out what Ace has to say about the environment, and see what adjustments you might be able to make to your gaming space.
This post by Roger brings up some great points. I’d been GM’ing for decades before I made the mistake of having NPCs talk to each other while the players became an audience watching a horrible skit. I’d planned it, even. I thought the PCs needed to know all sides of a story, from different NPC’s points of view, but I didn’t think about the time it would take (about 20 minutes) for me to infodump all of this on the players. Since that horrible experience for my players, I do my best to have them meet NPCs independently and have close interactions with the NPCs to gather the information I want the PCs to have.