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Old February 18th, 2012, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Welcome to Game Mastery

Originally Posted by Gandalf Parker View Post
My biggest explanation to new players was that they played their character, and I played the environment. I told the what they saw, tasted, smelled, heard, and maybe some vague feelings or impressions. An occassional "from living in this realm you would probably" know or recognize.

And their job was to say what they did. Simple as that.


My best hint to new game masters is that the simplest way to personalize RPCs is to give them a recognizable personality. But instead of getting too carried away, just give them a name you know. Does the shopkeeper or sheriff or bandit chief have the personality of John Wayne or Woody Allen, is he Shrek or Donkey? Or maybe he is that dickhead at the store you shop at. Dont bother sounding like them. Just a short note that makes it much easier to have each one react different to threats or bribes or bad jokes. It also helps in your life because every strange person, idiot, or dick that you meet will make you smile thinking how great they will be in your games.


Screw over PCs? Let them screw over themselves. Take notes when they do something to wreck your game. Write them on cards and make them into randomly selected events. It is SO much fun. When they pull something and argue "Aww come on! That could definitely happen!". Then when you throw it back at them they say "Thats not realistic" you can say "but you said it was perfectly logical when you did it". Its another way to turn crap into a smile. When they pull it, you can smile thinking what a fun random card that will make.

One of the goals of Total Eclipse is to both create a game master's game, where the game master is king, and a players game, where a player's adventurer is more than a wooden cutout. The average character creation game takes several hours per character and is fun - during play test most play testers turned character creation into a fun event where everyone learned each others characters and the game master formed an idea of who the team would end up being.

The game is a game masters dream because there is no attempt to answer every rule lawyer's question. Even an issue like skills is an open topic. Forestry for example is not just about cutting down a tree. A player used it once to give them benefits when climbing trees (using the athletics and acrobatics skill) and another used to to identify what wood would be easiest to find near where they were building a house. Each use presented the game master with a new task of figuring out how to put this into numbers.
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