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Game Master Tips

Nerdarchy > Game Master Tips (Page 2)
dscryb undead giant RPG boxed text

Make RPG Experiences Come Alive Through Finely Crafted Boxed Text

My personal Game Master style has been described to me as descriptive and evocative and this greatly pleases me. Whenever I play a tabletop roleplaying game the juice for me is imagining what it is like for a character existing in whatever settings and surroundings the game entails. So when I’m behind the GM screen it’s important to me to elicit the same immersive experience for the other players. Conjuring vivid imagery of people, places and things helps players put themselves in their characters’ perspectives and brings the world and the game itself to more vibrant life. The folks behind dScryb feel the same way and they’ve put together a terrific resource to help GMs free up their time and create a sensory experience to help set the narrative tone, introduce scenes and spotlight what is important in your worlds of epic fantasy.

Keeping Old School D&D

Well, reader, it’s been a while.  My school work became rather overwhelming.  I figured you didn’t want to read about Decolonizing Western Uni-versalisms: Decolonial Pluri-versalism from Aimé Césaire to the Zapatistasi or such. I’ve still managed to play AD&D a little. It started as a second edition game but has become a hybrid first and second edition AD&D game. 

Get off my lawn.

Discovering RPG Conflict in Unexpected Places

Salutations, nerds! I’ve written about tabletop roleplaying games and what it means to be a Game Master in terms of scenes and what goes into making one. I’d like to touch on a brief recap regarding conflict in RPGs. The only metric that matters in terms of what makes a great RPG scene is if everyone involved in it enjoyed themselves. Some players are perfectly content to roleplay shopping scenes with no conflict. They’ll enjoy the conversations when the time to do so affords. These players are blessings and should not be taken for granted because they make a GM’s job easy. But there are those who won’t be satisfied with these circumstances and don’t mistake me — this doesn’t make them bad players! Conflict is the life blood of the RPG experience. Often the difference between a good story and a boring one is the good story understands a scene really begins when there is a conflict and ends when this conflict is resolved.

5E D&D demiplane

D&D Ideas — Possession

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is possession, which we discussed in our weekly live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST on Nerdarchy Live to talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. Speaking of possession in Island in the Storm adventurers can ease a restless spirit’s forlorn imprisonment but only if this ghost can take over one of them body and soul. An imprisoned ghost pleads with the heroes to possess one of them in a bid to escape her island exile along with 54 other dynamic scenarios in Out of the Box. Find out more about it here. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy plus snag a FREE GIFT by signing up here.

How to Evoke Fear in a TTRPG Character

Salutations, nerds! Today I’m writing about striking fear in the hearts of tabletop roleplaying game players. And no I don’t mean just in the sense of a player making an obscenely high attack roll and telling them they miss. I mean truly unsettling the players. This may just be a me thing but nothing turns me off of an adventure faster than someone telling me my character feels terrified. This is acutely true in a situation where my character wouldn’t even be unsettled. Some TTRPG characters may be really freaked out walking into a room strewn with viscera for example but a character with a history of murdering people and using their internal organs as a sacrifice to a dark deity probably isn’t going to be too bothered by these circumstances. And honestly forcing a character into having a fear response to a scenario that wouldn’t scare them is cheating.

5E D&D Muk Goblin

Sit for a Spell at the Gobble Inn with Muk for 5E D&D

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted devise a business plan for the Gobble Inn as a memorable location for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. In the video they come up with several fun concepts and ways to incorporate this location into a 5E D&D game. I couldn’t help but think of the adorable goblin Muk who’s two Dungeon Masters Guild titles introduce and present a bunch of awesome activities, adventure hooks and light hearted fun in and around his home in Dankwood (while also generating money for Extra Life, a charity uniting gamers around the world to play games in support of their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital). So let’s get into it.

TTRPG Stock Sessions — Nightmare and Phobia

Salutations, nerds! At the time of writing this post I am getting ready to run a session going along with the subject matter. Hopefully by now the players involved have already done it and there won’t be any chance of spoilers. Today I’m focusing on character phobias in tabletop roleplaying games and the nightmare stock sessions where they’re brought manifest for the characters to deal with during the TTRPG experience.

D&D Ideas — Cults

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is cults, which we discussed in our weekly live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST on Nerdarchy Live to talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. Speaking of cults in Enemy at the Gate a manipulative guard acts as the agent of some greater villain in your world, perhaps with their own cult of agents and followers… A deceptive oni makes life difficult for the heroes by stopping them at a town gate and disrupting their lives along with 54 other dynamic scenarios in Out of the Box. Find out more about it here. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy plus snag a FREE GIFT by signing up here.

TTRPG Stock Sessions — The Time Loop

Salutations, nerds! Today I’m going focusing in on Groundhog Day. Not the movie but the concept of being stuck in a time loop as a tabletop roleplaying game stock session. This episode comes up in a lot of places. The first one coming to mind right now being the Supernatural episode where the brothers Winchester die repeatedly and have to live the day over. The time loop TTRPG stock session comes with a warning label — It’s frustrating to deal with. The time loop is a concept you want to make sure players are okay with before bringing it to the table. All the advice you see about how parties need clear goals is really hard to pull off in a situation like this so proceed with caution. After you’ve cleared it with your TTRPG group here are the things you have to hammer out.

5E D&D oceans encounters Out of the Box

D&D Ideas — Oceans

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is oceans, which we discussed in our weekly live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST on Nerdarchy Live to talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. Speaking of oceans in Fish Food a chance encounter on the high seas leads to a potential trifecta of terror: drowning, water issues and being lost at sea. A pleasant sea voyage turns upside down by attacking water enemies and a rapidly sinking ship along with 54 other dynamic scenarios in Out of the Box. Find out more about it here. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy plus snag a FREE GIFT by signing up here.

When Fight Club meets Cobra Kai Your RPG Character has to Fight

I take a lot of inspiration from everywhere both as a player and Game Master for my tabletop roleplaying game experiences. Reading novels, watching movies and TV present so many elements that have already been done so well — why not copy some elements to improve your own RPG experiences? I binged all three seasons of Cobra Kai over the weekend and man, what a show. It got me thinking about all the elements about fighting in a typical fantasy RPG. With so many urban adventures to play with it is no wonder fights can break out in the middle of the streets. If you plan to incorporate these kinds of groups, clubs or organizations focused around fighting in your games you could very much take inspiration from Cobra Kai and the movie Fight Club and make up rules and a place where these fights can go down.

5E D&D endings shadows

Changing the Theme of Your TTRPG Campaign Midstride

Salutations, nerds! I’m taking a brief break from the Stock Sessions series to write about consent in tabletop roleplaying games. I don’t mean tricky things like gore and sexual content, which gets addressed a lot and is super important. But another side of the issue gets overshadowed quite a bit — content and expectations. Consent means everyone is on the same page about generally what’s going to happen in the campaign. Put simply if you’re playing a pirate game it’s reasonable for players to assume it’s going to stay a pirate game and not suddenly become a knightly crusade.

TTRPG Stock Sessions — The Heist

Salutations, nerds! I’m back with another tabletop roleplaying game stock session to dissect and analyze. Today I’m taking a closer look at one of my personal favorites — the heist. There’s something valuable held behind closed doors in a secure facility. Something TTRPG characters need, want very badly or have been hired to retrieve. This archetype is part of the reason why I love Shadowrun so much as a setting. The game is 80% heist jobs, which by the way are great because they leave plenty of opportunity to tackle the adventure from whatever direction the players approach. A heist can be done via a lot of roleplaying, lying to people to get into position or purely through stealth. Characters can go loud and blast their way in or save this option for a last resort.

5E D&D time Out of the Box

D&D Ideas — Time

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is time, which we discussed in our weekly live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST on Nerdarchy Live to talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. Speaking of time in All That Remains time may have forgotten the story of a great battle and the heroes who fought and died but with a little curiosity and a lot of elbow grease adventurers can discover the past. A strange fog filled with the ghosts of a battle fought long ago form around an excavated monument along with 54 other dynamic scenarios in Out of the Box. Find out more about it here. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy plus snag a FREE GIFT by signing up here.

disney frozen 2 nokk elsa

RPG Elements Abound in Disney’s Frozen 2

Nerdarchy talks about always seeking inspiration from everything but I was not expecting so much fuel for my imagination in Disney’s Frozen 2. I have always loved Disney’s animated movies and I might be behind the times on this one but as a father I can enjoy watching these movies with my kids. We just finished watching Frozen 2 and even for a movie about an ice enchantress set in a fantasy world there are loads of things I am ready to incorporate right into my own tabletop roleplaying games and my own personal magical RPG setting.

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