Wow! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. I almost forgot how to format things.
See my post here for an update on how things are going for me.
On with the links!
I love this post by Avery. I used to do a few of the things she brought up in her post with regards to building in the passage of time (even just a few seasons) to the game. I’ve kind of fallen away from them. It seems like many of the “campaigns” I’ve run in the past several years only span a few months of game time from inception to conclusion. Thanks to this post, I have a great reference and a strong set of reminders on how to build the passage of time back into my campaigns. This makes me think that the current Pathfinder game I’m running (which started in early spring) is about to hit the hotter, summer months. Yeah. This is something to work into the game to remind the PCs that they still haven’t taken the lich king usurper off of his stolen throne.
I agree with Mike’s post here, and it’s entirely based off of a few experiences I’ve had. Anytime I’ve tried to do an “origin story” (as I call them) session or three to allow the players to get to know their characters, their fellow players, their fellow PCs, my gaming style, the world, etc., it’s always derailed the main point of the campaign. I love systems that wrap some structure around the “origin story phase” of things (like FATE Core), but those are different approaches than actually running an origin story adventure. Mike has some fantastic (and FATE-like) suggestions at the bottom of the post on how to “generate” (or, at least, make the skeleton of) backstory for the group as a whole.
Pacing is rough to nail down and get right in storytelling. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a novel, creating a short story, developing a screenplay, or telling a tale with your friends around a table. In RPGs, the GM has the most control over the pace of the story. Yes, the players can ping into it and shift the pacing a bit, but honestly, the pacing of a story is the GM’s realm. If too many sessions are go, Go, GO! then the players will get exhausting or numb to the experience and it’ll lose its effect. There are times to go fast and times to slow to a more casual walk. Rarely do you want to crawl. Phil has a good post on all of this, so go check it out.
A few months back when I took a hiatus from posting here, I clicked on very few RPG-related blog posts. Maybe 4-5 a week instead of the dozens I normally go through. Dyson’s posts were ones that I never missed, though. I really thought about creating a post here that was simply a link to his goods. Now that I’m back on the horse, I’d be remiss if I didn’t showcase this map. It’s a great map that mixes together quite a few different elements of cartography and creation. I think it’s one of the better ones he’s done.
“Damn all of you over at Campaign Mastery!” — That’s what my wallet screamed out in agony when I opened the many Amazon links from this post. Even with Amazon Prime, this single post is going to cost me a pretty penny in all of the books I want to pick up. Guys, gals, GM’s of all flavor and style. You owe yourself the time it takes to go through this fantastic list of reference books for your games. A few are actually gaming books, but most of them are straight-up reference. References that will make your gaming experiences richer, deeper, more involved, and better.
This is a most interesting post about the preparations, perils, and actualities of true-to-life adventurers and explorers. Men of the past that didn’t have Google Earth and GPS to guide them through the wilds of the continent they wanted to venture across. I found this distillation of facts very intriguiging and amazing. Thanks for the post, Patrick.
How do you get your players to love their characters and want to be in their shoes for many sessions? John offers up some advice on how to just that. This is a brief post, but it’s jam-packed with fantastic ideas and advice. GMs (and players as well!) should certainly spend the few minutes it’ll take to read through this post.