I had Friday off work, so I delayed writing up comments until then. I figured with the day off, I’d have plenty of time to get it done. The reason I had the day off was for a minor medical procedure, but I was up all night Thursday night “prepping” for the procedure and couldn’t eat at all Thursday or Friday. By the time the procedure was over and I was back home, all I wanted to do was sleep… so I did. Yesterday was a recovery day with a write-in with a friend. I suppose I could have written this post during that time, but it was more of a “work on your novel” kind of write-in.
One thing led to another, and now it’s Sunday….
BTW: The minor procedure went well, and things are good. Just something that has to be done every three years with the colon cancer family history (not personal history, just family) that I have. I’ll leave it up to your imagination on what was done to me on Friday. 🙂
Here are the links!
I’ve always had a hard time coming up with themes for my stories, novels, role playing arcs, etc.. It’s just something my brain doesn’t handle well. The strange thing is, my theme is always there, but I just can’t see it or articulate it. I’ll show a synopsis or brief description of the story to a critique partner, ask them to find the theme, and they’ll spout it out within a few seconds of finishing reading the short piece. Then it’s incredibly obvious to me. The point of this? Now that I’ve read this article by Mike, I have more tools in my mental toolbox to try and tackle finding the theme (or creating it) than I did before. Thanks, Mike!
This is a wicked cool isometric map by Dyson. Like I’ve said before, I usually don’t like them because they confuse my poor little brain. However, Dyson manages to create complex, yet clear, maps of this style.
I am a very strong proponent of having everyone run at least one game session, preferably a story arc, or maybe a campaign. This will give them a chance to see what the entire gaming experience is like and enhance their ability to run as a player. People that are 100% players don’t know the struggle of the GM and the dire need for player input. This can inhibit the group’s role playing experience. In last nights, D&D 3.5 game (I’m a player in this one), the GM had us hunting down a wand that could create zombies. We found where the wand was reported to be, but no wand. Then I could tell (because of my GMing experience) that he wasn’t really sure where the wand was at because he didn’t give us any clues as to the actual location. It was a dead end. However, we knew there were gnolls in the area, and I decided that the gnolls must have snagged the “ooky wand” and given it to their “ooky shaman” in their tribal village. I loudly proclaimed my theory, and clambered to the top of a rock outcropping to search for signs of smoke or fire that would tell me where the gnolls permanent village was at. The GM smiled and nodded at me, and we ran with it. Sure enough, ooky shaman had some ooky zombies and he was wielding the ooky wand. It was a good time. Angela’s post talks about GMing for the first time from both perspectives of the inexperienced GM and what to expect, and from the experienced GM and how to help.
Mike has a review of The Snake’s Heart, which is an adventure for Swords & Wizardry. I normally don’t link to product reviews unless there is more to the review than just talking about the product. This is one such case. Mike lets us know about the good and the bad about the product, but he goes deeper. He explains why things are good and where things can be improved and why. It’s a great review to read if you’re making your own products to see what a consumer thinks about this kind of thing.
I love it when players create characters that are tied to each other and the world around them. This gives the GM excellent hooks to motivate the characters into forward action. This is almost always necessary at the starting points of a campaign, and can shift the mood/tone or even the theme (see what I did there?) of the game when certain strings are pulled. I’m not saying GMs should abuse the string pulling, but it can make for more interesting storytelling when the GM and player(s) collaborate on what should happen when a particular motivation is triggered.
I’ve been waiting for a BIG MAP like this for a while. This is a great map. I’m not entirely sure what Dyson has planned as a “final product,” but I hope that it’s something that’ll be in print that I can use in my own games. Gonna be cool!