Friday Five: 2011-03-11

Episodic Campaigning

Wyatt has an interesting post about the virtues of episodic gaming vs. the long-haul campaign. While I thoroughly enjoy both approaches to gaming, I must say that the long-haul campaigns are my favorites. I’ve been in a few as a player and run many as a GM. They’re just so much more rewarding than the “monster of the week” style of gaming. However, if the group falls apart, or the GM burns out or something else (like real life) just steps all over the game, then the big payoff at the end of the campaign will never happen.

City Government Power Bases – Social Leverage, Marriage and Wealth

Johnn has an top-notch post about social leverage, marriage and wealth over at Campaign Mastery. The ideas and details in this post are fantastic for anyone considering running any campaign that is city-based or centralized around a particular cluster of civilization. I’m current running the Second Darkness adventure path from Paizo and the characters are still in Riddleport doing their best to survive the world of powerful crime bosses. I’m using social leverage (I call it influence in my head) and wealth to challenge the players. No marriages have come up yet, but that doesn’t mean something like that won’t happen before they’re sucked into the depths of the Darklands.

Enabling Player Fun – Win Scenarios

The PCs are usually the good guys. The good guys usually win. This means the PCs usually win. However, if you just hand them victory, then there is little challenge, no sense of accomplishment and very little reward at the end of a night of rolling dice. How do you get your players to walk away from the table feeling like they “won” the game? Well, I’ll let you read John’s article on the matter to figure that out.

The 60 Second Turn

One of my pet peeves is the player that can’t decide what to do, takes forever rolling dice, drags out the simple math of hitting/missing their target and generally slows down the game. It’s such a pet peeve that I’ve taken to using a timer on some groups in order to make them quickly decide what to do. Robert has some great words for how to handle this kind of thing and some advice to his fellow players on how to stay on the ball. If find yourself sitting at the table with everyone staring at you while you decide what to do, I highly encourage you to head over to Robert’s blog and check out what he has to say. You’ll make gaming better for everyone at the table, including yourself.

Basic D&D: On Archery

I just recently found Delta’s blog  and immediately fell in love with the content. You see, I’m a whore for numbers when applied to role playing. They fascinate me. I love tweaking them. I love fiddling with odds and chances to make things fair and balanced. It’s just something that’s wrong in my head, I guess. This particular post really caught my attention because of the level of detailed analysis on the odds of hitting with a ranged weapon at the different distances provided. With solid math like this backing he really proves a point: Ranged attacks are too easy. I’m not saying we retrofit the LBBs, AD&D, Chinamail or anything else derived from these excellent sources. I’m just saying that if you are creating a gaming system in the future that includes ranged combat, then this blog post should be required research material.