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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Podcast recommendation: Grumpy Old Gamers

I have to admit I am not an avid listener to podcasts. I always found it hard to include listening to them into my daily routine. Usually I have some free time during my commute which I fill with reading roleplaying games, playing around with my smartphone, reading the news, while listening to music. But a friend recently let me know that he’s recording a podcast and I just had to check it out.

Grumpy Old Gamers is not your typical podcast. Two slightly grumpy gamers who happen to be the game designers Jim Pinto and Richard Iorio are talking about the hobby and basically everything that crosses their minds. It’s a beautiful unfiltered, unedited mess, and I love it. It’s just two friends having a conversation and we get the chance to listen in on them.

What I especially like is that they share some interesting insights on the RPG industry and its fans. And they don’t sugarcoat anything. The podcasts takes a while to get used to, because there’s no proper intro (in the second episode the recording pretty much started mid-conversation) there’s no editing, no script, heck, not even an outline. If you don’t mind this, you’re in for a treat. I can’t wait to get off work to continue listening to these guys rant. It’s so enlightning and shockingly blunt, it’s a delight. I highly recommend to anyone checking this out.

Remember that Wild West game?

Some of you will remember me playing around with the idea of a wild west game using playing cards in place of dice and jokers for all the fun stuff you can do like shooting a hole through a silver dollar tossed in the air.

Well I have been mucking about (technical term) with the idea for probably the best part of a year now but today I have bundled everything up and released it as a public playtest on Drivethru. If you have nothing better to do I would love your feedback and suggestions for these rules.

This is part of a bigger project. I have never run a kickstarter but they are a major part of our industry. When these rules are finalised, based upon this play test I am going to take them forward as a kickstarter and feedback here as to how the process worked, or didn’t.

If you missed my original posts on this game idea you can start reading right from the first post which was Dice or cards.

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