My Friday night game went FANTASTIC. We all had a great time, and much undead slaying was had. My Saturday night game is winding down since the host is moving out of town, so we’re falling back to board/card games until he moves. We played several rounds of Zombie Dice, and several rounds of Chupacabra. Then we broke out Arkham Horror and proceeded to almost defeat Cthuga on several occasions, but the dice and cards just didn’t fall our way. We ended up awaking the Elder One, and that was pretty much the end of the game. We didn’t have the goods to directly defeat him. Ah well. Such is how it goes.
Now that I’ve summarized my gaming week… On with the links!
Most “quick and dirty” NPC generators focus on the stats. Sure, those numbers are important, especially if the NPC is there for combat purposes. However, most NPCs are probably there for some sort of social interaction. Unfortunately, most of these NPCs are “blank slates” without much backstory or purpose beyond handing out the next clue or misdirection. I know this is the case when I run the games because I just don’t have the time to backstory (even minimally) most of the NPCs in the game. Mike gives us some techniques for a “quick and dirty” background that’s actually applicable to the game itself. I’ve already printed this blog post and tossed in my GM folder for quick reference and use while doing my prep work. Thanks, Mike!
Need a guide to pacing your convention one-shots? It’s really not all that hard. Many people avoid GM’ing (and some playing in) convention games because of the short time frame of the game itself. Most sessions are four hours in length. Some rare ones can stretch to six hours, but those are usually special events. When getting ready to run a one-shot, make sure you keep real life time in mind. This needs to be done at the prep level, not when you sit down behind the screen with a bunch of strangers. Paul has some simple, yet great, advice on how to approach this time constraint in your prep time.
Another great article from Mike! This one expands on the ideas of how to keep ideas, thoughts, niblets of your mind, and your notes around for longevity. I’m a software engineer by trade. I spend quite a bit of mental effort writing “readable code.” Where the software is necessarily convoluted, I always leave a comment or three in the code to make sure people (especially me, six months later) know why I did what I did and how the code works. Having “readable notes” that will spur your memory and ideas is equally vital. I’m not just talking about the legibility of your handwriting, but the coherency of your notes and ideas. Never, ever make the mistake of proclaiming, “This is so important, I’ll never forget it.” When that event or NPC or item pops back up in the campaign five months later… Yeah… You’ll have forgotten the key details. Mike has some great approaches at note taking that will assist you in your mnemonic acrobatics.
More maps from Dyson! I haven’t linked to his site for a few weeks, so I wanted to highlight these maps of Fedor’s Pass. It contains lots of wide open spaces that could be used for… well… almost anything! For some reason, I’m seeing high ceilings and giants. That’s just where my mind went. Where did you your mind go when looking at this maps?
Sweet! Here’s nine great adventure hooks for a jungle environment for you GMs out there. Ameron does a fantastic job not only giving you some ideas, but leaving it open enough for your imagination to run free and wild with it. These should be easy to incorporate into almost any ongoing game, or they could the inciting incident that gets the ball rolling. Enjoy them!
This post is very much like an “Appendix N of Random Tables.” If you don’t have the books highlighted in this post, run out and get them (if you can). I looked through Martin’s list of random table books, and I found that I’m missing a few of them. I gotta run out and track them down.
Need some random effects for poisons of different types? Here are 20 of them from noisms. There are no names, just effects of the poisons. By using this chart and your imagination, you could easily come up with loads of different named poisons to attack your players with.