August 7, 2012

In Place, Typeface, White Space

At the weekend, I spent some time wandering around Waterstones and a branch of W H Smith fingering my way through various books, manuals, magazines and newspapers. While I have a draft of my adventure module that stills demands attention, I admit to have become side-tracked with the business of layout. I have been working on The Stench of the Sea as a boring old […]

July 31, 2012

Playtesting the Stench 2

The playtest of my adventure module took a slide out into left field last night, as we lost two players and gained three to the vagaries of the real world. I think, under the circumstances, I managed to get it back on track under the pretext that one of the players not in attendance owed money, favours or anything else besides to the three newcomers. […]

July 26, 2012

Another Dimension

Non-player character motivation came into focus during the playtest session I ran last Monday, short as that session was. In the two hours played, the characters not only had the opportunity to meet the village smith and the tavern keeper, but also Archer, the settlement owner and administrator. I originally intended Archer as a simple landowner looking out for the well-being of his workers. A […]

July 25, 2012

No Expense Spared

The ‘No Expense Spared’ character sheet for the System I Made Up ruleset used for the playtest on Monday. Assign 3-2-1 to the top boxes, then choose four traits associated with those attributes. Want to wrestle a giant crab? Then roll Body + Heave. How about working out what all that screaming might be about without getting too close? Maybe a Soul + Sense. Need to […]

July 24, 2012

Playtesting the Stench

If the game session last night has anything to teach me it is that you can’t underestimate the value of a playtest with a diverse group of players. I had a group of four and we played the initial element of the Stench of the Sea adventure module I have been working on. I think we may have worked our way through about two or three […]

July 22, 2012

Flashcards

I have always believed in simplifying the role playing experience for myself whenever possible. The business of GMing a role playing game holds too many complexities and points of preparation to make it any harder. If I read an adventure, I will take notes. I will litter the text with highlighting, Post-It notes, sticky bookmarks or index slips. I will photocopy bits for personal reference, […]

July 20, 2012

Much, Too Much or Much Less

I believe that different game-masters and storytellers seek varied levels of detail from the supplements, adventures and modules that they buy. I think some will appreciate layers of atmosphere and flavour, while others prefer sparse, concise descriptions that get the point across without labouring it. I know that I prefer something with a solid sentence or three of flavour, followed with reasonable detail on features and pertinent encounters.