It had been some time since I’d last got to be a GM. After resolving a few challenging IRL random encounters, I was ready to step into the ring again and return to gamemastering withThe Black Hack, that made such a great impression on me upon reading it. My guild brother Harri had kindly printed out and bound a copy for me.
I felt the game would lend itself well to a First Session in the vein of Apocalypse World and its ilk. All the four character classes have a small table for some colorful items, and the players create a single, one-or-so sentence Background for their character which lets them participate in the worldbuilding, as well. My idea was to let the players make their characters and ask some more or less provocative questions from them, and use those as my main springboard for the world.
Possibly the most often heard words in all roleplaying tables around the globe. One of the most houseruled and diverse rule between different roleplaying games. From roll d6 each side to different narrative rules, the rules and rulings are never enough to satisfy every roleplayer, or even the majority of roleplayers.
Let us start from the beginning, OD&D. Roll d6 for each side, high roll goes first. Then the tweaking begun. Bonus from dexterity, bonus from being whatever and the seemingly endless exceptions to the rule. Someone claimed that when all the rules and exceptions for AD&D were put together, the text would take at least one full page, if not two. Some, if not most roleplayers take this taking turns thing for granted and have succumbed to it, going through the motions without even thinking about it.
You might be aware of the phrase “say yes”. It was brought to wider roleplaying consciousness by Vincent Baker in Dogs in the Vineyard (DitV) back in 2004. I’ve heard some misinterpretations about saying yes. And note: this post is not specific or maybe even applicable to DitV.
Saying yes does not mean complying to everything the (other) players want. I’m also unsure whether it fits every game out there.
We had a Chrismas party a week ago. Instead of board games, I said I could run World of Dungeons. It’s an ultralight hack of Dungeon World which I hadn’t run it before, so we took it on a spin. Because nobody believed that we could play entirely sober, I decided on a full improv session. It degenerated slowly, but inevitably—and undeniably gloriously—into player vs. player mayhem, which surprised me very little. Despite my mistakes as a drunken GM, we had a whole lot of fun, and I learned a few important lessons. These are my notes from the GM’s standpoint. Continue reading →