Fundraising for 2020/2021: Currently at $1431. Fundraising has begun, see the global post for options. Paypal Donation Links US dollars CDN Dollars

The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

All discussions regarding Board, Card, and RPG Gaming, including industry discussion, that don't belong in one of the other gaming forums.

Moderators: The Preacher, $iljanus, Zaxxon

Post Reply
User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 29215
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk »

If you look online, either on their forums or Reddit, you'll likely find tons of professionally formatted cheat sheets. It's also handy if you can get some of the players to read the basic rules for common activities (IE - dice rolling, combat rolls), but getting players to make the effort can be a challenge. Alternatively, see if there is a 'how to play' video on YouTube you can link to them.

I've found one of the best ways to learn a complex or confusing rules system is to read it, then watch some quality live-play sessions or podcasts. Follow along with the rules, and don't be afraid to pause to look up why they did a certain thing.
________________________________________
A last hope

User avatar
hentzau
Posts: 14301
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:06 am
Location: Castle Zenda, Ruritania
Hentzau’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by hentzau »

Cylus Maxii wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:31 pm
hentzau wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:50 pm
I'm going to be at C2E2 all weekend running D&D games. I'm going to be mostly manning the event booth, but I have a feeling I'm going to be called upon to run things. Sunday I'll be on the show floor (somewhere?) running "Learn to Play" D&D sessions.

And tomorrow night I'm going to be going to the Critical Role live show at the auditorium theater. Looking forward to that one!
I completely envious about the CR live show!
The live show was a lot of fun, but getting into it was a complete and total clusterfuck.

Show was slated to start at 8:00. I was there with my daughter and my buddy from high school and his son. We grabbed dinner before the show, and walked down there by 7:20. And found approximately 3,500 of the 3,800 people attending the show waiting outside, in the cold Chicago night. We got in line, and the wait began, with the line inching along. Long story short, we did not make it into the auditorium until 9:15, about 2 hours after we arrived. THey said they were having trouble with the scanning software for the tickets, and that was the cause of the delay.

The show started around 9:35 or so, and they gave us a full CR show, so they show ended about 1:50 AM. I have no idea how they managed that, all of those theaters are heavy duty union shops, I assume folks were getting some heavy duty overtime.

The show was fun, we weren't quite in the upper nosebleed section, but we were still plenty far back for the cost of the tickets. The audience was really into it, and everyone had a great time. But I'm in pain today. I'm too old to survive on 3.5 hours sleep.
"Women are naturally secretive, and they like to do their own secreting." - Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal in Bohemia

User avatar
Anonymous Bosch
Posts: 8288
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:09 pm
Location: Northern California [originally from the UK]

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

hentzau wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 4:43 pm
The live show was a lot of fun...

We grabbed dinner before the show, and walked down there by 7:20. And found approximately 3,500 of the 3,800 people attending the show waiting outside, in the cold Chicago night. We got in line, and the wait began, with the line inching along. Long story short, we did not make it into the auditorium until 9:15, about 2 hours after we arrived.

The show started around 9:35 or so, and they gave us a full CR show, so they show ended about 1:50 AM.
Yeesh. Your definition of 'fun' leaves much to be desired.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster

User avatar
Cylus Maxii
Posts: 3267
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 10:13 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Contact:

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Cylus Maxii »

I was up watching the stream. It had crappy audio and kept dropping out and hitching. i hope the VOD is better. I plan to re-watch it this weekend sometime.
My nephew, Jake - "I mean is there really anything more pure? Than sweet zombie monkey love?"

User avatar
hentzau
Posts: 14301
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:06 am
Location: Castle Zenda, Ruritania
Hentzau’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by hentzau »

Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:08 pm
hentzau wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 4:43 pm
The live show was a lot of fun...

We grabbed dinner before the show, and walked down there by 7:20. And found approximately 3,500 of the 3,800 people attending the show waiting outside, in the cold Chicago night. We got in line, and the wait began, with the line inching along. Long story short, we did not make it into the auditorium until 9:15, about 2 hours after we arrived.

The show started around 9:35 or so, and they gave us a full CR show, so they show ended about 1:50 AM.
Yeesh. Your definition of 'fun' leaves much to be desired.
Eh. When you're in the situation, you just ride it out.
"Women are naturally secretive, and they like to do their own secreting." - Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal in Bohemia

User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 66015
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Chookity pok
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Isgrimnur »

If I have a weeknight event, I take at least the first half of the next day off, if not the whole one.

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 29215
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk »

Well, I just cancelled my Pathfinder 2e session for next Sunday for 'social distancing' reasons. I worry that if this thing peaks in May, we'll have to cancel the next 6-8 sessions, too. The obvious choice is to switch to a VTT, but that is looking really, really expensive. To pick up where I'm at, I'd have to buy another core book ($60), the bestiary ($50), the content I'm running ($23), plus a subscription ($10/month.)

That's a $143 cost just to get started. I honestly don't think that's possible.
________________________________________
A last hope

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 29215
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk »

After my group turned it into a shared investment, I've spent the last couple of days trying to learn Roll20. There is a lot more power under the hood here than I'd assumed. Unfortunately the built-in tutorials leave something to be desired, so I'll likely have to start searching around for better learning tools.
________________________________________
A last hope

User avatar
Cylus Maxii
Posts: 3267
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 10:13 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Contact:

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Cylus Maxii »

We are still meeting in-person for now. But we are already making sure everybody has Roll20 access. We will probably use Discord for voice and Roll20 for basic maps, markers/tokens, and rolls. We have content on DnD Beyond already, but its not a VTT.
My nephew, Jake - "I mean is there really anything more pure? Than sweet zombie monkey love?"

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 29215
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk »

Nice timing: Astral Tabletop has just announced that they're providing all of their paid features for free until the end of April. I don't know the software, but free is free is free.
________________________________________
A last hope

User avatar
IceBear
Posts: 12362
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 5:58 pm

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear »

Yeah our group is doing the same. Luckily I had Fantasy Grounds from 2005 and it works well with Savage Worlds (we just started playing Tyrnador campaign when this social distancing became necessary). For now I am paying the $9.99 monthly fee to have the Ultimate license so everyone else can just use the free demo version. Hopefully I can cancel in a month or 2 (knock on wood)

User avatar
IceBear
Posts: 12362
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 5:58 pm

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear »

Well tonight is our first attempt at continuing our regular game via Fantasy Grounds. Hopefully it'll go well and we don't have technical issues or I get overwhelmed trying to run the game and focus on the various tools at the same time.

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 29215
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk »

I'm trying to simultaneously wrap my head around the Roll20 system while only one session into our first game of Pathfinder 2. That means I'm holding on to both the software and new rules at the same time while also dealing with all of the real-world crap that's going around right now. To say it's making my head spin would be an understatement. In retrospect I actually wish I'd suggested switching to 5e or Savage Worlds for next couple of months so I'd only have to worry about the software.
________________________________________
A last hope

User avatar
Skinypupy
Posts: 15180
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:12 am
Location: Pac-12 Country

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Skinypupy »

Ran Little B 11.0 and the Wonder Twins 6.10 through another short campaign this afternoon, The Ogre and His Cake. This is now the second one they've done, and I've learned two things:

1. Their attention span for this is about an hour, no matter how entertaining I try to make things as the GM. I was doing silly voices, jumping up and down re-enacting combat actions, ducking under tables, and doing everything I could think of, and they were absolutely done after an hour.

2. They really enjoy combat. As soon as initiative rolls, they're all in. Sadly, they couldn't care less about the role playing aspects. They pretty much all just rolled their eyes any time I tried to engage them in playing their characters.

While they enjoy all sort of fantasy literature and board games, I'm thinking D&D might not stick with them. They're just not all that interested in anything other than swinging a sword.
For those accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.

User avatar
IceBear
Posts: 12362
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 5:58 pm

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear »

Well that went pretty well. I did get lost in the interface a couple of times and one player had mic issues but overall we managed to get in 5 hours of solid gaming

User avatar
Malificent
Posts: 1152
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 10:43 am
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Malificent »

Skinypupy wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:02 pm
Ran Little B 11.0 and the Wonder Twins 6.10 through another short campaign this afternoon, The Ogre and His Cake. This is now the second one they've done, and I've learned two things:

1. Their attention span for this is about an hour, no matter how entertaining I try to make things as the GM. I was doing silly voices, jumping up and down re-enacting combat actions, ducking under tables, and doing everything I could think of, and they were absolutely done after an hour.

2. They really enjoy combat. As soon as initiative rolls, they're all in. Sadly, they couldn't care less about the role playing aspects. They pretty much all just rolled their eyes any time I tried to engage them in playing their characters.

While they enjoy all sort of fantasy literature and board games, I'm thinking D&D might not stick with them. They're just not all that interested in anything other than swinging a sword.
That's just the nature of kids at that age, I think. All my daughter cared about was how effective she was in combat. My friend's son has been playing with us off and on since age 12 and it's only now at age 16.5 that he's really giving the role playing a chance. He basically treated it a World of Warcraft raid before, all about tactics and loot drop.

So, I wouldn't lose hope.

User avatar
Anonymous Bosch
Posts: 8288
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:09 pm
Location: Northern California [originally from the UK]

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

I thought this might be of interest to OO DMs:
ProFantasy.com wrote:Enlarge Image

Staying at home?
Until further notice, Campaign Cartographer 3+ is half price.

There's never been a better time to map out the worlds of your imagination. ProFantasy's software has always been good value, but not affordable for everyone. We've decided to include new, free dungeon and city design capabilities to our core software CC3+, and offer it at half-price - just $22.45 for a permanent commercial license.

Making maps at your PC doesn't mean you miss out on a sense of connection. Our users have formed great online communities which offer support and feedback to each other - get inspired, help others and have fun.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster

User avatar
hentzau
Posts: 14301
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:06 am
Location: Castle Zenda, Ruritania
Hentzau’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by hentzau »

For my wife’s birthday today she asked for me to run her and the kids in a Castle Falkenstein game. So I’ve been cramming all day to relearn the rules.
"Women are naturally secretive, and they like to do their own secreting." - Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal in Bohemia

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 29215
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk »

Grumble. I just discovered that other than Fall of Plaguestone, Roll20 has *zero* Pathfinder 2 content available. That means either prepping from scratch or picking PF1 content and converting it within the software. At the same time, Fantasy Grounds has all of the PF2 content, but it's too late to switch now after investing in the rulebooks for Roll20.
________________________________________
A last hope

User avatar
AWS260
Posts: 11117
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:51 pm
Location: Brooklyn

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by AWS260 »

After a (short) lifetime of indifference to D&D, my 10-year-old just uttered the phrase "I cast Ray of Frost."

Thanks, coronavirus!

Also thanks to his after-school program, which has nimbly pivoted from board games to online RPG sessions.

User avatar
Redfive
Posts: 1845
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 11:12 am
Location: Back in Texas

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Redfive »

WotC has made Lost Mines of Phandelver free on Fantasy Grounds, Roll20 and DnD Beyond.

I think most of you that play D&D here have run this or are currently running this module, however, given present day circumstances I thought I'd share this in case any of you were considering virtual table top programs.

I have been running a campaign for the better part of three years almost weekly on Fantasy Grounds and would be willing to answer questions, show you around, or even run an adventure if folks here were interested (if I can find the time and we can match schedules).

EDIT: By the way, my offer has nothing to do with whether you participate in the free offer above or not. I wouldn't be running LMoP in any case (too long) but I have the ultimate license for Fantasy Grounds which means any number of clients can connect and play full featured at no cost to the player.
Battle.net: red51ve#1673
Elder Scrolls Online - @redfive

User avatar
Zarathud
Posts: 14253
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:29 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Zarathud »

I may take you up on that. My sister’s friends miss their 6 hour monthly sessions.
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein
"I don't stand by anything." - Trump
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867
“It is the impractical things in this tumultuous hell-scape of a world that matter most. A book, a name, chicken soup. They help us remember that, even in our darkest hour, life is still to be savored.” - Poe, Altered Carbon

User avatar
IceBear
Posts: 12362
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 5:58 pm

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear »

I wish I had purchased the ultimate license back when it would have been cheap for me. Paying $9.99 a month for it while in lockdown

I've been running the Secrets of Tyland for Savage Worlds in it. There's a lot of stuff in it that I kind of wish were at my normal table :) I am impressed how easy it is to convert from pdf to Fantasy Grounds with some of the extensions people made...the NPC Creator is crazy useful

User avatar
Redfive
Posts: 1845
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 11:12 am
Location: Back in Texas

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Redfive »

Zarathud wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:41 pm
I may take you up on that. My sister’s friends miss their 6 hour monthly sessions.
Cool. Best way to reach me is probably through the OO server on Discord. I'll see if you post here but usually have Discord up most of the time.
Battle.net: red51ve#1673
Elder Scrolls Online - @redfive

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 29215
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk »

Man, pen-and-paper has been unkind to me lately. As of this month I've been GMing for 30 years(!). I've run games in probably 15 or 20 different systems. For the last couple of years I've been dealing with a lot of GM burnout. It isn't the usual GM burnout, though. This is GM-Meta-Burnout! I've done the usual stuff that's worked for decades. I've taken GMing breaks. I've tried new campaigns. I've tried new systems, jumping from D&D to Torg: Eternity to Pathfinder 2 just in the past year. I've switched up genres. Then I get the fire in my belly and love the brainstorming, but as soon as I commit with my players and sit down to start working on a game, though, BAM! Any enthusiasm dies, and it dies hard. I want to GM. I love GMing. I love the moment to moment expression of the craft. But at the same time I've found myself miserable.

I've spent many hours over the past few weeks analyzing myself, my last few years worth of games, and this is what I've figured out:

1. The thing I've noticed I have the biggest negative reaction to is the technical side of the games. I don't enjoy elaborate systems anymore. I no longer enjoy the math. And forcing myself to do all of this makes me absolutely miserable.

This wouldn't be a problem, except for one thing: I'm a very technically minded person. I don't know any other way to function. Everything I do is in a series of organized systems, from my budget to grocery shopping to taking a shower. Throw a handful of junk on the floor and I sort and organize it in my mind as soon as I see it, involuntarily. And as I've gotten older, this tendency toward technical thought has grown more and more pronounced. This has caused my attempt to play non-technical systems (mostly Powered by the Apocalypse games - Dungeon World, Masks) to end in disaster. I don't know how to think that way.

2. For the last decade I've mostly run pre-written content. I realize now that this has contributed to the problem, as it has turned RPGs from being a creative outlet and an exercise in imagination into an exercise in memorization. I've now come to understand that this has sucked a *lot* of the joy out.

Most of the time, the solution would be obvious: Go back to writing my own content. That's a problem, though. As I mentioned above, I'm no longer enjoying the technical elements of the games. I don't want to deal with the rules and math involved in writing and balancing session. I absolutely want the imaginative, creative elements, but the framework for implementing those things is killing me.

And the solution to that should be obvious, too: Play a system without the heavy technical elements. But see the part after #1. I've never had much luck without a technical framework to rely on. I tend to get very lost, very quickly. My instinct when struck by a situation is to figure out which rule applies. If there is none, I draw a blank, which makes me nervous, which makes me draw even more blanks. As I said before, my attempts to run systems like Powered by the Apocalypse have been disasters. I really do understand how their systems work, but in practice it is like writer's block with everyone waiting for me. Constantly.

And this is all terribly unfair to my players who try to get invested in my games only to have me burn out and either run mediocre sessions or switch systems yet again. This goes doubly when they invest in a system, buying rulebooks, studying rules, and so forth. I feel terribly guilty any time the burnout hits because I'm letting down long-time friends. Taking an extended break around here would probably mean the end of the group. Only one other person really GMs, and my impression is that he doesn't want the job long-term. And in a town of ~4,000 people located between two cows and a cornfield finding decent players makes finding a group in a city look like a cakewalk. Taking an extended break would probably mean giving up the hobby completely at this point, which I have no desire to do.

Short version: I'm a long-time GM who is losing the fun because he can no longer take joy in the technical aspects of the game while at the same time being locked by his nature into a technical mindset that makes non-technical games very difficult to run. And yet I still love and need the creative elements that you can't really find anywhere else, and don't want to give up the hobby.

Unfortunately, I've thought myself into a circle on this one. My nature is such that I have trouble running loose games, but loose games are the only thing that suit my needs, except that my nature is such that I... you get the idea.

I'm too close to the problem, and I'm getting stuck in a vicious cycle. I'd appreciate any insights.
________________________________________
A last hope

User avatar
Smoove_B
Posts: 42691
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 am
Location: Kaer Morhen

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Smoove_B »

I totally get (some) of your frustration. I was just getting ready to start up an AD&D campaign when suddenly, pandemic. I think I'm similar - I like the framework the rules provide, but there's nothing greater than being able to threat free-flowing creative elements into a story as things unfold/evolve/change/whatever. However, in going back through the rules it turned into a slog. I didn't remember them being so cumbersome or unwisely. At times, I wondered exactly what I thought was fun about the rules I was reading. I began to wonder is whether or not I could even manage to make something fun with what I was processing (even though I somehow had done it as a teenager).

What I've been (very casually) experimenting with over the last 6 or so months is solo pen and paper RPG sessions. This is totally alien to me, FWIW and I'm still struggling. However, learning new things (rules) and then trying to be flexible in execution (creativity) is a satisfying mix. I haven't quite settled on a system I like. Of course I gravitate towards D&D since that's what I know the best, but other than following a scripted solo module, you can't really just wing an adventure with the rules. So I've tried using things like the Deck of Many Dungeons, The Game Masters Apprentice Deck, products from Inkwell Ideas (like the Sidequest Decks) and the books I just picked up - Table Fables and Arcane Facts and Curious Curios. Anyway, using something like the FATE system to resolve questions (with those nifty dice), it definitely sparks creativity. It also forces you to be way more flexible with the rules because you need to get better at interpreting things in ways you likely never considered.

Anyway, perhaps stretching your brain around some free-form scenario-based solo RPG sessions might help you "punch through" and give you some excellent material to incorporate into your actual sessions - new scenarios, new NPCs, new locations - that's what I like about it. There's (for me) enjoyment in using the technical elements in a new way and you're still making new, creatively valid content.

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 29215
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk »

Running solo content was actually how I learned to play. My first several months of D&D back in the late 80s were all solo.
________________________________________
A last hope

User avatar
Smoove_B
Posts: 42691
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 am
Location: Kaer Morhen

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Smoove_B »

Well...I guess I kind of did that. And there were some solo D&D adventures that are scripted (Knight of the Living Dead was probably my favorite). But those were more like choose your own adventure experiences. The stuff I'm trying to do now is much more like how I'd like to run an adventure or create a campaign. A solo free-form experience that emerges from various random elements that are tossed together. This requires different thinking than what I was doing with more traditional solo play. Instead of essentially following prompts, this is way more interpretive - doing something, checking a table and then thinking through what it means or how it fits into bigger story or plot. I guess it's more like structured story boarding - using rules/framework (with randomness) to move from Point A to Point B.

User avatar
IceBear
Posts: 12362
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 5:58 pm

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear »

The Mythic GM emulator is great for that. You ask some yes and no questions after deciding the likelihood of the answer

I think 5E is a good mix of crunch and DM fiat, but I'm finding that I don't have time for D&D anymore (been DMing since 1980). I ran a lot of Dungeon World because I am very familiar with the genre and to force myself to learn how to deal with loose rules and more story influenced decisions.

We've been playing a fair bit of Savage Worlds on Fantasy Grounds (one campaign set in a old school D&D setting and another in Rifts). Actually find FG automates a lot of stuff so I can just deal with the story and not worry about rules. Going to be playing Old School Essentials on Discord this weekend

I am also very technical minded and I enjoy the technical side of games but I literally forced myself to run Fate and powered by the Apocalypse stuff to get past things needing to be technical. I'm probably gone too far the other way now as I just don't have time for the crunch
Last edited by IceBear on Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 29215
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk »

So, having played a ton of Savage Worlds and 5e myself, in your opinion, how much do you need to prepare for a same-length session with Dungeon World? Both in time and in effort?
________________________________________
A last hope

User avatar
IceBear
Posts: 12362
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 5:58 pm

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear »

I literally did no prep for DW...0.

I printed off character sheets handed them to players and asked each of them a leading question and then used the answers to start the adventure. One of the principles of DW is to play to find out what happens and that applies to the GM too.

"You are standing in front of a ruined keep...player 1, what item are you here looking for?"

Player 2, if you don't find it, what dire consequences will befall you all?

Player 3, what rival group is also looking for this item and why?

I found offloading a lot of the work to the players was a great move on my part. Saved a lot of stress and pressure

With DW results of dice rolls and moves like Discern Realities informed me of how the story and map should move

Keep in mind that since the 80s I have written every one of my own adventures like a store bought modules...read aloud text, all the monster stats in the adventure text etc. This was part of the reasons I forced myself to run DW with no prep at all. To teach myself I could do it

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 29215
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk »

IceBear wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:56 pm
Keep in mind that since the 80s I have written every one of my own adventures like a store bought modules...read aloud text, all the monster stats in the adventure text etc. This was part of the reasons I forced myself to run DW with no prep at all. To teach myself I could do it
I'm the same way, and I ran Dungeon World once for the same reason (and Masks twice - also a Powered by the Apocalypse rules system.) Neither turned out great, and were a real struggle. Perhaps I just need to go back, try again, and tell my group up front, "This might suck for a few sessions."
________________________________________
A last hope

User avatar
IceBear
Posts: 12362
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 5:58 pm

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear »

Yeah...it was the same for us. It also depends on your players. I had two that were very into it...they gave a lot of very detailed answers. A couple of others gave boring one word answers but as time progressed they also learned how to loosen up like me and got better at improv.

Yeah I have Spirit of 77, Distant Worlds, Masks Apocalypse World, and several others. The main reason I stuck with DW was because I was most familiar with D&D so it was less of a stretch for me to come up with stuff on the fly. Really want to run some Spirit of 77

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 29215
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk »

IceBear wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:26 pm
Yeah...it was the same for us. It also depends on your players. I had two that were very into it...they gave a lot of very detailed answers. A couple of others gave boring one word answers but as time progressed they also learned how to loosen up like me and got better at improv.
A lot of it was me, but that was part of it, too. The players kept waiting for me or the dice to tell them what to do, which didn't give me anything to build off of.
________________________________________
A last hope

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 29215
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk »

IceBear wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:26 pm
Yeah I have Spirit of 77, Distant Worlds, Masks Apocalypse World, and several others. The main reason I stuck with DW was because I was most familiar with D&D so it was less of a stretch for me to come up with stuff on the fly. Really want to run some Spirit of 77
I've played Spirit of '77, but haven't run it. I played 'Bull' Booker, an over-the-hill stuntman based loosely on Burt Reynolds' Hooper who provided 'muscle' for a down-and-out California private detective that lived in a trailer on the beach. It went beautifully.

Masks was a complete flop. The players had fun, but running it was probably the least pleasant RPG experience I've had. The problem is that many of the mechanics are tied to the characters' emotions, and understanding emotions is one of the things in this world that I'm the worst at. It's a shame, because the content was right up my alley (I collect Teen Titans comics after all!)
________________________________________
A last hope

User avatar
IceBear
Posts: 12362
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 5:58 pm

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear »

Yeah I had to be aggressive with pursuing them to elaborate on things in the first little while until it got to be second nature with them.

I did find towards the end I needed to take a lot of notes as the players were doing a lot of world building with their answers.

User avatar
IceBear
Posts: 12362
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 5:58 pm

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear »

Example, character playing the wizard was fighting a goblin wizard and did a defy danger to avoid the goblin's attack and I offered him a hard choice but was stuck for ideas. The player said that goblin wizards have souls of their victims bound to their staff so suggested that perhaps he dodged the blow but one of the spirits tried to leap from the staff and possess him. So the choice became take the blow from the staff or face possible possession from the spirit. From that moment on goblin wizard staffs became their own problem to deal with

The rolls that led from that had us momentarily in Limbo while the player battled the spirit for control of his body

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 29215
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk »

This whole thing has me extremely stressed. If I could find a regular board game group, I'd consider either retiring from GMing or at least taking a long sabbatical. As it is, though, I'm the only person in the group willing to GM long-term, and the game is the only real social contact I have outside of my family. In this tiny town it's really, really hard to find people interested in activities that don't involve words like "huntin' dog" or "muddin'".

As it is, though, I find a way to enjoy it again or I give up my last social activity, possibly permanently.
________________________________________
A last hope

User avatar
Zarathud
Posts: 14253
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:29 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Zarathud »

I run Paranoia RPG to encourage my improv and get the stick out of my ass to have fun. You can’t rules lawyer, and you can’t over analyze. Set the tone and maintain plausible chaos until interesting things happen.

The annual Midnight Massacre at Origins Game Fair of Kobolds Ate My Baby meet those same needs as a player.

I may be moving my D&D 5E to Roll20. I’ll run D&D with an interesting pregen module. My focus so far is more on getting through the material with distractible players.
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein
"I don't stand by anything." - Trump
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867
“It is the impractical things in this tumultuous hell-scape of a world that matter most. A book, a name, chicken soup. They help us remember that, even in our darkest hour, life is still to be savored.” - Poe, Altered Carbon

User avatar
IceBear
Posts: 12362
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 5:58 pm

Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear »

Blackhawk wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:26 pm
This whole thing has me extremely stressed. If I could find a regular board game group, I'd consider either retiring from GMing or at least taking a long sabbatical. As it is, though, I'm the only person in the group willing to GM long-term, and the game is the only real social contact I have outside of my family. In this tiny town it's really, really hard to find people interested in activities that don't involve words like "huntin' dog" or "muddin'".

As it is, though, I find a way to enjoy it again or I give up my last social activity, possibly permanently.
With all the social distancing going on right now I'm sure there are a lot of pick up games on the various sites that you could join as a player. I've been playing more than I GM over the past couple of years and that really helped. I got to see other styles of GMing and I didn't feel the constant pressure of me providing the weekly entertainment for the others

Post Reply