Category Archives: Improve Your Game

Podcast Recommendation: The Dungeon Master’s Handbook

This is a quick follow-up to my last post. I got in touch with Michael Shorten aka ChicagoWiz and asked him for advice on how to run old-school sandbox games. He pointed me towards the podcast he had been recording last year.

In the 17 episodes of “The Dungeon Master’s Handbook” he talks about how to run con games, how to design and run a sandbox campaign, and many more highly interesting subjects. What I particularly liked is the fact that each of the episodes is about 20 minutes in length. This is enough time to convey even complex ideas but short enough so that you can easily include it in a busy schedule.

I’ve listened to the first two episodes so far and I wholeheartedly recommend the podcast to everyone interested in old-school gaming. Unfortunately he ended the podcast after 17 episodes because of lack of audience and interest. I think it’s a shame because Michael has real talent and many DM’s could learn a thing or two from him. Perhaps some renewed interest in the existing episodes and some valuable feedback from new listeners might make him reconsider. Winking smile

Confessions of a terrible GM

Ok, I am probably not that bad, but sometimes I feel that way. I’ve run games that were terribly boring, extremely formulaic, and I made every mistake at least twice. I remember game sessions were I actively tried to piss off my players, there were times I railroaded adventures that hard you could almost smell the smoke from a steam engine. I have been a bad game master many, many times.

In some cases I was bad because of lack of experience, but more often because of fear: the fear of getting the rules wrong, the fear of being boring, the fear of not entertaining my players, the fear of making a fool of myself. In my case fear either leaves me so paralyzed that I can’t even bear the idea to actually run a game, or it leads me to drop all of my good ideas and replace it with formulaic crap. I have asked players for dice rolls just in order to stall time. At times I was terrible.

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#RPGaDay2018 – Day 21 and 22: Which dice mechanic and non-dice mechanic appeal to you?

Hello everybody… although I posted my videos yesterday on my YouTube channel and the channel for Desde la Fosa, I neglected writing a post and sharing them with you. These two days are all about mechanics. Dice mechanics and non-dice mechanics.

 For the first pair of videos corresponding to day 21, I had a specific example and a general overall mechanic beyond a specific game, I prefer roll high mechanics, preferably using a single dice.

As far as non-dice mechanic I first thought about diceless game, playing Amber briefly once upon a time, but then I though about all the non-dice mechanics in game we play regularly and talked about that in the videos, specifically the Interludes rule from Savage Worlds. Hope you enjoy both days.

The video for day 21 in English:

Continue reading #RPGaDay2018 – Day 21 and 22: Which dice mechanic and non-dice mechanic appeal to you?