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Chaotic Void's "Ask the GM Anything" Thread!

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  • Chaotic Void's "Ask the GM Anything" Thread!

    Heya folks,

    I remember promising this thread to a few people (assuming that they even remember... it's been that long ). Basically, this is a Q&A thread about Table-Top RPGs, where you can ask pretty much anything you want (as long as it's relevant to the aforementioned topic), and I'll see what I can do to answer.

    I'll start with a foundational question... what the HECK is a Table-Top RPG?


    It's quite simple: a Table-Top RPG is a Role-Playing Game (think Console RPGs like Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Quest, etc), except you play them on/around a table with rulebooks, some dice, some pens and pencils, and some paper. Also, you play them with other people.... One player is the Game Master/GM (He or she is one part Referee, one part Narrator, one part Tactician, and one part Universe Architect), and at least one other player gets to design characters to take part in the world.

    It's basically 'Make Believe' with a much sturdier framework than your typical childhood game of 'Cops n Robbers'.

    So... anyone have any questions to ask the GM? I promise that I won't bite.
    Mercenary Maxim 37: There is No 'Overkill.' There is merely 'Open Fire,' and 'I need to Reload.'

    Chaotic Void's Recommended Advice for Trump's Opposition to Punt him from the Oval Office: Git Gud

  • #2
    Originally posted by Chaotic Void View Post
    I'll start with a foundational question... what the HECK is a Table-Top RPG?
    It's a Rocket Propelled Grenade that can be fired from.....

    ok, I'm leaving.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
      It's a Rocket Propelled Grenade that can be fired from.....

      ok, I'm leaving.


      Well played, Cow Poke. Well played.
      Mercenary Maxim 37: There is No 'Overkill.' There is merely 'Open Fire,' and 'I need to Reload.'

      Chaotic Void's Recommended Advice for Trump's Opposition to Punt him from the Oval Office: Git Gud

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Chaotic Void View Post


        It's quite simple: a Table-Top RPG is a Role-Playing Game (think Console RPGs like Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Quest, etc), except you play them on/around a table with rulebooks, some dice, some pens and pencils, and some paper.
        We used to call that pencil and paper RPGs as opposed to computer games.

        I'm always still in trouble again

        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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        • #5
          Have you ever bitten a player? Have you ever wanted to?
          Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
            We used to call that pencil and paper RPGs as opposed to computer games.
            Yeah, just goes to show how much things have changed... Most people think stuff like "Final Fantasy" when they think of Role-Playing Games.

            Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
            Have you ever bitten a player? Have you ever wanted to?
            No, I have never bitten a player. I haven't wanted to bite them... however, sometimes I've wanted to smack them around with The Clue Bat(TM) for a few minutes.
            Mercenary Maxim 37: There is No 'Overkill.' There is merely 'Open Fire,' and 'I need to Reload.'

            Chaotic Void's Recommended Advice for Trump's Opposition to Punt him from the Oval Office: Git Gud

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Chaotic Void View Post
              No, I have never bitten a player. I haven't wanted to bite them... however, sometimes I've wanted to smack them around with The Clue Bat(TM) for a few minutes.
              Have you ever had an NPC bite a player?
              Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                Have you ever had an NPC bite a player?
                Not yet. But there's still time.
                Mercenary Maxim 37: There is No 'Overkill.' There is merely 'Open Fire,' and 'I need to Reload.'

                Chaotic Void's Recommended Advice for Trump's Opposition to Punt him from the Oval Office: Git Gud

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chaotic Void View Post
                  Not yet. But there's still time.
                  I should hope so. It's surprising that someone who prides himself so much on the wacky hasn't used an enemy with a bite attack
                  Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

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                  • #10
                    Do you use miniatures when you play?

                    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                    "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                    My Personal Blog

                    My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                      I should hope so. It's surprising that someone who prides himself so much on the wacky hasn't used an enemy with a bite attack
                      Oh, believe me... there are wackier things than a bite.

                      Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                      Do you use miniatures when you play?
                      If I had any, along with a portable laminated map to draw on, yes. I'm likely going to get some colored wooden blocks and use those as substitutes. Of course, if I had access to all my old Lego pieces I'd use the Lego men from them as miniatures.
                      Mercenary Maxim 37: There is No 'Overkill.' There is merely 'Open Fire,' and 'I need to Reload.'

                      Chaotic Void's Recommended Advice for Trump's Opposition to Punt him from the Oval Office: Git Gud

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                      • #12
                        What do you see the GM's role as being?
                        ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

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                        • #13
                          What are your recommendations on how to be a good G.M?
                          "It's evolution; every time you invent something fool-proof, the world invents a better fool."
                          -Unknown

                          "Preach the gospel, and if necessary use words." - Most likely St.Francis


                          I find that evolution is the best proof of God.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MaxVel View Post
                            What do you see the GM's role as being?
                            First and foremost, the GM is an entertainer. If you can't keep the other players interested in the game, then they won't give a hoot about anything else.

                            Other than that, the GM has the following job descriptions (with various priorities on/applications of each, depending on the Rule System, the Flavor of the campaign, etc etc):
                            Tactician - The guy has to make the battles interesting and challenging. Just having the enemies attack the closest Hero within range can get kind of boring after a while. If an enemy squad is supposed to led by a brilliant tactician, then the way they fight should match that.
                            Universe Architect - The GM has to build the world that the players will be totally demolishing exploring . This can vary in scope and flavor. The game could take place on a single spaceship in the distant future, or your shenanigans could span an entire continent of Medieval kingdoms.
                            Referee - When there's a dispute as to what happens, the GM has to be able to settle things... Preferably with the rules. Typically, most starting GMs will go strictly 'By the Book' but as they start to understand the system they're using a little better, they'll likely throw in some personal 'House Rules' as well. Let's face it, no system is perfect (and neither are GMs).
                            Narrator - A good storyteller knows how to open the players to his world. It's all in the description, as they say... "A horned monstrosity charges at you, roaring with unbridled fury. Your blades graze the creature's hide, but it barely seems to halt the monster in it's madness." The GM shouldn't be trying too hard or laying it on too thick, but it certainly makes things more memorable than just describing what you've sent the party's way as "An Orc with Antlers".


                            Originally posted by Irate Canadian View Post
                            What are your recommendations on how to be a good G.M?
                            Well, as I said earlier, remember that your primary job is to keep the rest of the group entertained.

                            As for what else... couple good rules of thumb:

                            Know the Rules - You can't teach newbies how to play if you don't know how to play yourself. It's also a lot easier to resolve rule conflicts if you don't have to waste ten minutes sifting through Rulebooks.

                            Keep it Simple - This was one of my biggest mistakes as a beginner GM... TOO. MANY. NPCs. Keep a couple major ones in your back pocket, but don't get too many characters involved... otherwise, it becomes a mess to keep track of.

                            Use 'Plot Hooks' - Basically, give your Players a couple means of exploring the world (ie, "The King is Requesting Adventurers to Help him find his Daughter," "Bartender Bob is looking for a Few Good Men to help him settle some tabs," and "Sweet Grandma Gertie needs help cleaning out her pantry from a recent infestation"). Nine times out of Ten, the players will find find that Necromantic Cult you've been wanting them to fight, they'll wind up doing so on their own terms. As for the One time it doesn't work...

                            Don't be Afraid to Adapt - This is one of the reasons you need to Keep things Simple... suppose things don't go as planned. Now it's your job, as the GM, to find a way to get the party back on track. It's good to have a side-quest planned just in case you need to cook up something new entirely. Granted, accidentally destroying a vital clue is a lot easier to recover from than, say, the players rolling too good and they wind up stopping the Antagonist from finishing their Doomsday Device. This also applies to combat... if the party is steamrolling encounters, don't be afraid to amp it up a little. Likewise, don't hesitate to dial it back a notch if they're on the receiving end of the butt-whooping.
                            Mercenary Maxim 37: There is No 'Overkill.' There is merely 'Open Fire,' and 'I need to Reload.'

                            Chaotic Void's Recommended Advice for Trump's Opposition to Punt him from the Oval Office: Git Gud

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                            • #15
                              Heh, I had a party off my major villain on their first encounter. Needless to say, he was quickly re-dubbed 'key henchman' while I rolled up his replacement...

                              "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                              "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                              My Personal Blog

                              My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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