Friday Five: 2010-07-23 2

A Deeper Understanding of GM Notes

Notes. Notes. Notes. We all take notes during the game. OK. Maybe not all of us, but every good GM should take notes, and I highly recommend that at least one player take notes. With two people taking notes, you’ll get the players’ perspectives in the game as well as the GM’s outlook. Plus there are some things that only the GM knows about the NPCs, world, monsters, treasure, etc. It’s just the natural way of things. DNAPhil has a great write-up on GM notes and how they are used. I highly recommend you go check them out.

More Confessions of a D&D Camp Councilor

I linked to the first post about D&D Camp last week, so I felt obliged to link to the follow-up post. It’s a great read and really gives me hope for the future of my favorite hobby.

Grow The Hobby With Great Game Mastering

Speaking of the future of hobbies, here’s a post from Johnn about running great games that will keep your players coming back, including the newbies!

Unique scrolls in fantasy RPGs

I love unique magic items. In the RPG that I’ve worked on for a while (and hope to get back to this December when a non-compete contract expires) there is no such thing as a “long sword +1” or any other “+1” item for that matter. Sure, some items may grant a +1 bonus to attack and/or damage, but there’s so much more to a magical item in my RPG than just that one thing. Every item has a name. Every item has a history. Every item has a future. Most items have a personality as well. It’s just in the nature of magic in the RPG that this has to be the case… plus I was tired of people buying up +1 items like they were candy.

NewbieDM Review: Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide

This is a great review from NewbieDM about the Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide. I don’t have a copy of it yet due to some budgetary constraints, but I hope to pick it up soon. There are quite a few Pathfinder titles that are on my “get it soon” list, and this is one of them. NewbieDM’s review just bumped up the book a few notches to place it at or near the top of the wish list. I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. One thing that made me sad about his post is that he states that he doesn’t like Pathfinder as a system. I just feel he’s missing out on some great role playing with the system. However, to each his own. I’m sure there are a few systems out there that he loves that I can’t stand.

2 thoughts on “Friday Five: 2010-07-23

  1. newbiedm Jul 23,2010 7:31 PM

    Hey, thanks for the link back!

    It’s not that I hate Pathfinder, it’s just that I never really had too much fun with 3.x. It’s what was there at the time, and what people were playing, so I had to, but always with a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth.

    DMing 3.x is a chore of epic proportions. I never cared for it when it was called D&D, can’t imagine I’d care for it under a new name. As a player, the lower levels of play were okay, but I got annoyed at higher levels. Character creation for me was always horrible, I just didn’t care for it either. Just the stupid skill ranks were enough to annoy me. I’m horribly ADD when it comes to rpg character making, and 3.x tried my patience, like Mutants and Masterminds does today.

    Nothing personal against Pathfinder, the production values are extremely high, the people behind it are pros who understand their audience, and as a company they seem to be on the up and up… but in the end it’s the same game I never really cared for.

  2. Hungry Jul 23,2010 7:40 PM

    You just said everything that I normally say about D&D 4.0. Lower levels are fine for management of powers and abilities. However, once you get to higher levels the scale, scope and sheer number of abilities confuses most players. I tend to keep up just fine, but most of my fellow players in various groups have had to shuffle through cards, spreadsheets or other systems to determine what they could do in a particular round. Then they had to pick from the plethora of choices. I hated sitting there waiting for someone to decide if “now” was the right time to use a daily power or not.

    I’ll admit that I’ve not run a Pathfinder game yet (I’ve been a player in our current Pathfinder game) but from reading the rules and using them as a player, I can totally see how they’ve streamlined tons of things and made the management easier.

    I’ll agree with you that the production values of everything they make is top-notch and can’t be beat by anyone!

    PS: Good luck with the Ennies!

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