Apr 182012

For a game master, there are few sights more dismaying than a table full of distracted players. They forget the names of your prominent NPCs; they quote from The Office ad nauseam when it’s not their turn in combat; they surf the web on their iPhones while you’re trying to feed them the clue they need to figure out who’s been killing innocent villagers. While none of these are uncommon occurrences at anyone’s table, no matter how skilled a storyteller she may be, there are a few techniques that a GM can use to grab their attention and hold it.

(Continued after the break.)

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Apr 042012

The night that Alex and Meyer decided to gang up on Paul and murder his character, I was completely unprepared. I stared down at my session notes, now almost completely useless in the face of the left turn my campaign had suddenly taken, barely able to speak. Paul scanned his character sheet in silent frustration, searching for an action that could perhaps save him from a messy death at the hands of his fellow party members. Across the table, Alex and Meyer high-fived each other, reveling in their success. Once the deed was done, I called the game, both for Paul’s sake and to give myself a chance to regroup.

In the aftermath, I was left with several nagging questions. What were these idiots thinking? Why didn’t I see this coming? What could I have done differently?

(Find out after the break.)

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Dec 302011

Hello one and all. It is I! TheEdCress! I have returned from a brief and unsatisfying trip into the world of Corporate America. I had to wear a uniform, and go to meetings, and eat lunch in my cubicle — this was not the life for me, nerd warriors.

(find out more about my failed attempt at a mature existence after the break)

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Oct 192011

Even though the next New York Comic Con is a year away, I thought it might be a good idea to jot down a few of my recommendations for future con goers while they’re fresh in my mind. Not all of these pointers will apply to everyone, and some of them are just plain common sense, but if they help you out, then I’ve done my job.

(Find Ryan’s tips for New York Comic Con after the break.) Continue reading »

Sep 022011

On our last podcast episode, we sat down with good friend and long-time game master Chuck Rozakis for a discussion about world building and storytelling. As a supplement to the pointers he gave during the interview, Chuck has sent us a list of some very helpful tips for those of you who want to design your own game worlds. They’re insightful, practical and definitely worth a look.

For those of you who are interested in purchasing Chuck’s book about loopholes and imbalances in D&D 3.5, “The Broken Rules Compendium,” it is available through iTunes or Lulu as a paperback and an eBook.

(Chuck’s world building tips after the break.)

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