So how would you like to see the running of a new campaign from the GM’s POV, from the first scribbled notes to running the actual game? This would be everything step by step: musing of arcs, planning and dead ends, characters and plots. The works.
Should hopefully be fairly enlightening, there might even be guest articles by the players (assuming they don’t read the notes too carefully…)
In honor of our national election day, I couldn’t help not making this. If you don’t get the reference, make sure to read “A New Dawn” by John Jackson Miller. John, always a good sport about his books, had this to say.
“Very nice. But the Emperor may ask about this “election” thing…” –JJM
Good point. Perhaps it’s best we let the people just think they still have a say in the Government while the Emperor finishes taking over. (But enough about American politics…)
While looking up videos to get a better handle on the Welsh accent of a character I’m playing, I ran across a fun little video of all the major accents in the UK (with examples) as done by one woman. Brilliant.
I’m not sure how absolutely accurate she is, but it’s a good starting point for further research.
Even if you are not playing a team-killing Munchkin, there is a certain wisdom in keeping tabs on what the other Player Characters in the group can and can not do. Not all Elves are good with a bow, not all Dwarves know how to use a forge, and (as shown here) not all wizards have Giant Eagle friends.
There is an enjoyment to be had playing against archetype though, the entire Knights of the Old Republic comic book series (Dark Horse, John Jackson Miller) was approached from the point of view of a good-hearted Jedi who was frankly terrible at his job. He did the best that he could with a motley group of friends and the story was that much better for it.
Next time you play a “known” type of character, be it a dashing gunslinger or wise old wizard, make sure to throw in something completely against type. It makes for an enjoyable change to explore, as well as helping keep things from getting in a rut. This goes doubly for a GM! If the party fingers the goatee-twirling Grand Vizier as the obvious bad guy, let them discover his secret line of hair-care products while the Harmless Old Stablehand plots his oddly-efficient demise of the King. Always check your horse’s saddle straps, folks.
Surprise yourself and surprise your other players! However, don’t be so obfuscated as to cause party fights or needless PC deaths. Being a little different from the pack is good, but try to keep whatever it is from getting the whole party killed. You’ll never live it down.
Most gamers, even the casual ones, know about the Classic PC Alignment chart. Say it with me my friends…
While a good chart, there have been a few additions over the years. The standard sub-classifications of a few of the slots on the chart (in no particular order) are: Lawful Good Paladin Asshole, Lawful Stupid, True Neutral, Neutral Apathetic, Neutral Psychotic, Chaotic Schizophrenic, Chaotic Greedy, and Scenery-Chewing Over The Top Chaotic Evil Ham.
We’ve argued these alignments over character actions for decades now, laughing and accusing in equal measure. It wasn’t until 1983 that anyone decided to apply the same methodology to the Players themselves:
Jeff Okamoto and Sandy Petersen:
The whole thing started around 1983 or so at a party at Pacificon at the Dunfey Hotel in San Mateo in which the idea came up of classifying the different styles of roleplaying. They came up with four different types, which are explained below. Special credit goes to Perry Caro, Chris Guthrie, Rick Heli, Robert Allen, and Ken Kaufman, to name a few.
The Real Man
The tough macho type who walks up to the attacking dragon and orders it to leave before he gets hurt.
The Real Roleplayer
The intelligent cunning guy who tricks the constable into letting you all out of prison.
The guy who will do anything for a cheap laugh, including casting a fireball at ground zero.
[Rules Lawyering Min/Maxer, ed.] Need we say more?
Hours of entertainment have been found applying the RRLM definitions to fellow players and either embracing or denying the charges. Personally, I tend to play the Real-Men/Real-Roleplayer types, but never let that stop you from enjoying a witty Loonie player. When they’re not disrupting the game, that is.
GM: “The ground opens up in front of you. Your enemy, the Silver Knight, hovers above the chasm. What do you want to do?”
Kyle: “I’ll make another sign.”
GM: “What does it say?”
Kyle: “Do not play on or around crevice.”
I hadn’t seen any new Player classifications in years, not until a game last week when a fellow Player described a person in his other game as a True Dickhead Gamer. It sounded a bit harsh at first, but then he presented unto us a convenient new chart by Blue Boxer Rebellion:
Ladies and Gentlemen, Elves and Dwarves of all ages, we have a new chart to annoy fellow players with. Sure it’s a bit rudimentary, and could probably use a couple more spokes for Harmless Loonie vs Campaign-Killing Loonie, but it’s a great start.
Let the accusations, denials and gleeful acceptances commence!
Some games you need this sort of thing, from comet strikes to massdriver attacks, to determine just how screwed your party is. Alternately, use it to see just how much damage they did! http://www.purdue.edu/impactearth/
Londo Mollari: Mass drivers? They have been outlawed by every civilized planet!