GM Advice Archives • 9littlebees

Tag: GM Advice

87: Living Worlds

In Episode 87, Liam and Matt follow on from our last episode about bringing environments to life with an episode about creating a living world. Here are our links:

Fistful of Sixes – playtest: docs.google.com/document/d/14zRLGYixH1EhaFc5H6HXMbDfprb3mep8SZLRQHq_b30/edit?usp=sharing 
Pitchfork – Draft village creation minigame: pitchforkrpg.com/village-creation 
Microscope: http://www.lamemage.com/microscope 
Ironsworn: https://www.ironswornrpg.com 
Mutant Year Zero: https://frialigan.se/en/games/mutant-year-zero 
Beyond the Wall: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/113405?affiliate_id=430686 
Kingdom: http://www.lamemage.com/kingdom 
Mothership: https://www.mothershiprpg.com 
I’m Sorry Did You Say Street Magic: https://seaexcursion.itch.io/street-magic 
The Quiet Year: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/110152?affiliate_id=430686 
Forbidden Lands: https://frialigan.se/en/games/forbidden-lands 
17th Century Minimalist: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/302620?affiliate_id=430686 
Dungeon World Fronts: https://www.dungeonworldsrd.com/gamemastering/fronts 
Alas For the Awful Sea: https://storybrewersroleplaying.com/alasfortheawfulsea 
The Sprawl: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/171286?affiliate_id=430686 
UVG: https://www.wizardthieffighter.com/ultraviolet-grasslands 
Nights Black Agents: site.pelgranepress.com/index.php/pyramid-linking-for-fun-and-profit

Conspiracy Pyramids on The Alexandrian: https://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/36575/roleplaying-games/thinking-about-urbancrawls-part-9-new-school-urbancrawls 
Delta Green conspiracy pyramid: http://www.delta-green.com/2016/11/graphically-improved-delta-green-conspyramid 
Perilous Wilds (2e Playtest): dropbox.com/sh/p88e7exekcb0qsa/AACDXT11NSfNsy_VtQS51xDca?dl=0 
Blowback (Push Pyramid): elizabethsampat.itch.io/blowback 
Things From the Flood / Tales From the Loop: https://frialigan.se/en/games/tales-from-the-loop 
Kult Actual Play: 9littlebees.com/category/roleplaying/kult

Endure: vonbednar.itch.io/endure 

Bringing it Together:
Start at Session Zero (collaborative world/settlement building).
Focus on fleshing out the Community, esp Rumours.
Any time you’re adding a character, creature, or faction – ask “why is it here?” and “what does it want?”
 Keep Threats connected & flexible, and use clocks / timers. 
Think about Conspyramids and Look For Patterns.
Ground PCs in reality and focus on downtime and mundane interactions.

To get in touch or discuss the show, you can find all of our social media links on our website: http://mbcast.co

If you like our show and would like to support us or get access to some exclusive content, we’re on Patreon – take a look at http://mbcast.co/patreon

If you can’t support us on Patreon but still want to help us out, how about using our affiliate link when buying RPGs on DriveThruRPG? It doesn’t cost you a penny more, and we get a small percentage of the sale, which enables us to buy books for future reviews. Every little helps! https://www.drivethrurpg.com/?affiliate_id=430686

Music: Berserkir by Danheim


23-Sep-20 0

86: Bringing the Environment to Life

In Episode 86, Matt interviews Liam about how to bring environments to life. Here are some notes:

Urgency: Don’t give too much detail when the PCs are in a hurry
Just Enough: don’t aim to cover everything
Leave Gaps: so the players can interact with the environment
Pace Yourself: describe the important / evocative things and then back off – build on it as the players interact.
Senses: Lead with and focus on the non-visual senses (esp smell & touch). 

Questions to ask yourself when prepping a location:
What purpose is this scene filling?
What mood am I trying to evoke?
What am I trying to establish or achieve?
Is this interesting?
What’s unique about this scene?

To get in touch or discuss the show, you can find all of our social media links on our website: http://mbcast.co

If you like our show and would like to support us or get access to some exclusive content, we’re on Patreon – take a look at http://mbcast.co/patreon

If you can’t support us on Patreon but still want to help us out, how about using our affiliate link when buying RPGs on DriveThruRPG? It doesn’t cost you a penny more, and we get a small percentage of the sale, which enables us to buy books for future reviews. Every little helps! https://www.drivethrurpg.com/?affiliate_id=430686

Music: Berserkir by Danheim


02-Sep-20 0

83: GM Toolbox – Chase Scenes

In Episode 83, we return to our GM Toolbox series with a look at chase scenes, something that is criminally under-represented in most RPGs.

WFRP 3e Progress Tracker: https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2009/9/18/tale-telling-tools
Universal Chases using D&D 4e Skilll Challenges:
5e Expanded Chase Tables: https://olddungeonmaster.com/2015/01/17/dd-5e-quick-reference-chase-rules/
Classified RPG (James Bond): https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/128259?affiliate_id=430686
Whitehack Review on Questing Beast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSX4KWbm7dU
Savage Worlds 1e Free Rules: https://www.peginc.com/freebies/SWcore/SWDUpdates_ChaseRules.pdf
Savage Worlds Adventure Edition Charts: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/265465?affiliate_id=430686
Snakes & Ladders System: http://tenfootpolemic.blogspot.com/2017/05/flee-snakes-ladders-chase-mechanics.html
Filmsite.org Chases: https://www.filmsite.org/filmchases.html

To get in touch or discuss the show, you can find all of our social media links on our website: http://mbcast.co

If you like our show and would like to support us or get access to some exclusive content, we’re on Patreon – take a look at http://mbcast.co/patreon

If you can’t support us on Patreon but still want to help us out, how about using our affiliate link when buying RPGs on DriveThruRPG? It doesn’t cost you a penny more, and we get a small percentage of the sale, which enables us to buy books for future reviews. Every little helps! https://www.drivethrurpg.com/?affiliate_id=430686

Music: Berserkir by Danheim


21-Jul-20 0

77: GM Toolbox 1 – Progress Tracking

In this episode, we kick off a new series, the GM Toolbox, with a discussion on progress tracking.

Blades in the Dark SRD – Progress Clocks: https://bladesinthedark.com/progress-clocks
Ironsworn SRD – Progress Tracks: https://docs.google.com/document/d/11ypqt6GfLuBhGDJuBGWKlHa-Ru48Tf3G_6zbrYKmXgY/edit#heading=h.p2pqgpp1p51f
The Angry GM – Tension Pools: https://theangrygm.com/tension-on-the-road
Mythic GM Emulator: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/20798
Dread: http://www.tiltingatwindmills.net/games/dread
Don’t Walk in Winter Wood: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/104196

To get in touch or discuss the show, you can find all of our social media links on our website: http://mbcast.co

If you like our show and would like to support us or get access to some exclusive content, we’re on Patreon – take a look at http://mbcast.co/patreon

If you can’t support us on Patreon but still want to help us out, how about using our affiliate link when buying RPGs on DriveThruRPG? It doesn’t cost you a penny more, and we get a small percentage of the sale, which enables us to buy books for future reviews. Every little helps! https://www.drivethrurpg.com/?affiliate_id=430686

Music: Berserkir by Danheim


27-Apr-20 0

73: West Marches

In this episode, we discuss West Marches, a style of sandbox play which is designed for a large group of players. It also ties in nicely with the new campaign we’re about to start running for our higher-tier Patreon supporters – a West Marches game with a big pool of players and revolving GMs (Matt & Liam). So without further ado, here’s our thoughts about West Marches, including how we’d tweak it.

Links:
Ars Ludi West Marches post:  http://arsludi.lamemage.com/index.php/78/grand-experiments-west-marches/
Matt Colville’s video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGAC-gBoX9k
Imgur abstract hexmap:  https://imgur.com/a/SVjv5
Invision (online whiteboard):  https://www.invisionapp.com/
Google Sheets WIP campaign workbook:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1swJqRWlcg0gzJfrDifjHMzvhBr_Y45QdVXq0YDyclkQ/edit?usp=sharing
Reddit – tweaking the WM map: https://www.reddit.com/r/rpg/comments/63f5eb/the_playermap_in_a_west_marches_campaign/

To get in touch or discuss the show, you can find all of our social media links on our website: http://mbcast.co

If you like our show and would like to support us or get access to some exclusive content, we’re on Patreon – take a look at http://mbcast.co/patreon

If you can’t support us on Patreon but still want to help us out, how about using our affiliate link when buying RPGs on DriveThruRPG? It doesn’t cost you a penny more, and we get a small percentage of the sale, which enables us to buy books for future reviews. Every little helps! https://www.drivethrurpg.com/?affiliate_id=430686

Music: Berserkir by Danheim


04-Mar-20 0

64: Sci-Fi Horror

With the Mothership one-shot fresh in our minds, we talk about some tips to keep in mind when running sci-fi horror games.

Mentioned in the show is the following essay, “The Trajectory of Fear”:  https://img.fireden.net/tg/image/1453/84/1453840962349.pdf

To get in touch or discuss the show, you can find all of our social media links on our website: http://mbcast.co

If you like our show and would like to support us or get access to some exclusive content, we’re on Patreon – take a look at http://mbcast.co/patreon

If you can’t support us on Patreon but still want to help us out, how about using our affiliate link when buying RPGs on DriveThruRPG? It doesn’t cost you a penny more, and we get a small percentage of the sale, which enables us to buy books for future reviews. Every little helps! https://www.drivethrurpg.com/?affiliate_id=430686

Music: Berserkir by Danheim


11-Nov-19 0

61: Grimdark Player Tips

Unfortunately, our interview with Sean McCoy fell through, so to fill the gap we have done an episode about player tips for grimdark games instead, as this was a topic requested many of our patrons when we asked for ideas (and no other topics were forthcoming).

While we wanted to keep this to tips before, during, and after a game, it naturally expanded a bit, so you will also find quite a bit of discussion around session zero.

Some links we mention in the episode:
Seth’s Edgelord video: http://mbcast.co/seth-edgelord
Liam’s rules: http://mbcast.co/liams-rules

To get in touch or discuss the show, you can find all of our social media links on our website: http://mbcast.co

If you like our show and would like to support us or get access to some exclusive content, we’re on Patreon – take a look at http://mbcast.co/patreon

If you can’t support us on Patreon but still want to help us out, how about using our affiliate link when buying RPGs on DriveThruRPG? It doesn’t cost you a penny more, and we get a small percentage of the sale, which enables us to buy books for future reviews. Every little helps! Here’s the link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/?affiliate_id=430686

Music: Berserkir by Danheim


20-Oct-19 0

56: Scenario Lovecrafting

Our Months of Madness continues as we talk about crafting a scenario of Lovecraftian cosmic horror. Here are the steps we discuss:

1. Themes & Threat;
2. The Hook;
3. Factions & NPCs;
4. Scenes & Clues;
5. Starting Scene;
6. Keeping up the Pressure;
7. Endings & Epilogues.

To get in touch or discuss the show, you can find all of our social media links on our website: http://mbcast.co

If you like our show and would like to support us or get access to some exclusive content, we’re on Patreon – take a look at mbcast.co/patreon

Music: Berserkir by Danheim


10-Sep-19 0

55: Lessons from Lovecraft

Our Months of Madness continues as we talk about how to bring the themes and tone of cosmic horror into games that aren’t designed to do it.

To get in touch or discuss the show, you can find all of our social media links on our website: http://mbcast.co

If you like our show and would like to support us or get access to some exclusive content, we’re on Patreon – take a look at mbcast.co/patreon

Music: Berserkir by Danheim


24-Aug-19 0

40: Dark Magic

Episode 40 is all about dark magic! Join us as we talk about how to do magic in a grim setting, world-building for a magic system in our own game, and freeform vs spell list magic systems.

To get in touch or discuss the show, you can find all of our social media links on our website: http://mbcast.co

If you like our show and would like to support us or get access to some exclusive content, we’re on Patreon – take a look at mbcast.co/patreon

Music: Berserkir by Danheim


27-Apr-19 0