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  #1  
Old September 21st, 2011, 01:24 PM
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Default Welcome to Game Mastery

This sub-forum is for discussion of gamemaster related activities, from advice on gameplay elements to how best to screw over the PCs. Consider this the Hawgwaller's of the forum.
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Old September 24th, 2011, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: Welcome to Game Mastery

The key to game mastering Total Eclipse is to remember the rules are guides for the story. Most rpgs in the past ten years have moved to rules that explain all and define all. Total Eclipse has a qualitative task system that is designed to allow the game master to apply five common sense rules to each attempt by players to do something before getting to the Skill attempt, and the skill attempt has a way of measuring "how well I did" based on how wall the player rolled, rather than simply breaking the skill attempt into a binary "success or failure" followed by a "damage roll."

What this all means is that logic is more important that the letter of the law for any game master, and the rules support this.
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Old September 27th, 2011, 09:45 PM

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Default Re: Welcome to Game Mastery

Will there be examples of the typical difficulty of some common actions so that Game Masters have an idea of how easy or difficult a certain action is, or are GMs left to make these distinctions as they see fit?
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Old September 27th, 2011, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Welcome to Game Mastery

There are some examples, but a lot of it rests with the game master.
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Old February 18th, 2012, 04:18 PM

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Default Re: Welcome to Game Mastery

Could you please explain a bit about the words in parentheses in Table 2.1 of the Adventurer's Forge? Do these affect game play?
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Old February 18th, 2012, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Welcome to Game Mastery

Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeyfiend View Post
Could you please explain a bit about the words in parentheses in Table 2.1 of the Adventurer's Forge? Do these affect game play?
They can. Table 2.1 is the birth language table for adventurers whose race does not have an automatic racial tongue. When a language is mentioned with some sort of parenthetical note, it means that the language is spoken in one of its dialect forms. For example, Brazilian Portuguese and Continental Portuguese have some significant differences in slang, while some phrases that make sense to a British person do not to an American. When the dialect is mentioned at all it means that the languages have different enough versions that there is at least some chance of miscommunication (for example in the heat of battle) but careful and considered communication by two individuals will likely be ok.

In practical terms Southern Celestial is the high version of the tongue, as is Great Nevari the main version of that tongue. The Nevari from the Grabbian lands is different enough to cause confusion, but close enough that traders do not need translators. A speaker of Celestial from the Inland Sea speaks a corrupted form of the language (Lake) with many Dagorian and Sedusi loan words, but the core grammar mutually intelligible.
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Old February 18th, 2012, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Welcome to Game Mastery

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.
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  #8  
Old February 18th, 2012, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Welcome to Game Mastery

Quote:
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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Old February 20th, 2012, 05:19 PM

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Default Re: Welcome to Game Mastery

What sort of stipulations does the advantage "Cast Iron Stomach" come with? I assume characters are not protected against poison, but what about a poisonous berry which would have a food value, I presume?
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  #10  
Old February 20th, 2012, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: Welcome to Game Mastery

Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeyfiend View Post
What sort of stipulations does the advantage "Cast Iron Stomach" come with? I assume characters are not protected against poison, but what about a poisonous berry which would have a food value, I presume?
You are correct. Downing a glass of drano is contraindicated - it is a poison with no food value. But berries with food value that are also mild poisons, rotten mean that would sicken a normal person, rye with ergot, or rotten milk are all inside of the meaning of this ability. The game master can choose to allow the adventurer with this racial ability to ignore some of the effects of mild poisons, as long as the poisons would otherwise be nutritious. Death Caps may be out of bounds, but indian corn and puffers are probably in.
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