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Old 12-19-2020, 11:14 AM   #11
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: How to game master, being an explorer?

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Originally Posted by Vicky's StackExchange link
Apocalypse World, Dungeon World, and their derivatives instruct and require the GM to play to find out what happens, and to not plan ahead too far (the system fights you if you try). They support improvisation and exploration in the moment without having to define things thoroughly ahead of time.

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"Play to find out what happens" and "not to plan too far ahead" sound like pretty standard GM advice regardless of system, in particular suggestions to avoid railroading, keeping the "game" in RPG by not giving the plot too much dictatorial weight, or avoiding wasted effort when players are players and their PCs do something wacky and unexpected. Those are all useful points to keep in mind for any game system I've tried. Other than a 100% pure simulationist sandbox, where the question can't arise because even the GM doesn't know what's going on, it seems like always good advice. One of the really meta narrative systems regularly shifts the GM into the role of player while some other player becomes GM with whatever their plot control resource system is, so the GM doesn't know that bit of whatever story the other GM is doing. But that's not an anti-railroad measure; the degenerate case is just two railroad engines pulling each other back and forth, or just headed for a train wreck because they're running in different directions on the same track.

But my experience doesn't, alas, include AW/DW.

The mechanically relevant bit seems to be "the system fights you if you try". Anyone have AW/DW experience that would care to explain a bit more about exactly how this works in terms of game mechanics? How does the game even know that the GM has "planned to far ahead" in order to punish them for doing so? Presumably they don't think worldbuilding or jotting down plot seeds earns Bad Karma points that absorb any later attempt to make a GM ruling. So what do they mean?
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Old 12-20-2020, 05:40 AM   #12
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Default Re: How to game master, being an explorer?

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Note that I personally don't have DW experience, I just know that it keeps getting brought up in certain circles that are big on certain playstyles. Most of the meat of that paragraph was added by another user, so I can't vouch for the game.
But of course! I'm solely responsible for my purchases!

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
"Play to find out what happens" and "not to plan too far ahead" sound like pretty standard GM advice regardless of system
Yes it is, but I'm very wary of this advice since it's the same thing my usual GM told me all while having metric tons of notes made casually as ideas came. He might not have prepared much for each session per se, but he had lot's of general material worked out in advance. Meanwhile, my improvised npcs feel flat and characterless, and same with locations.
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Old 12-20-2020, 06:25 AM   #13
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Default Re: How to game master, being an explorer?

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Originally Posted by Gnomasz View Post
Yes it is, but I'm very wary of this advice since it's the same thing my usual GM told me all while having metric tons of notes made casually as ideas came. He might not have prepared much for each session per se, but he had lot's of general material worked out in advance. Meanwhile, my improvised npcs feel flat and characterless, and same with locations.
Prepare situations, not plot. In other words, be prepared for the players to wander around and discover things without GM guidance.
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Old 12-21-2020, 07:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: How to game master, being an explorer?

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Originally Posted by Gnomasz View Post
I've found myself in a strife: either run a game or don't game at all. Unfortunately, game mastering always tires me very quickly, and I think it's because of what actually drives me to play: the sense of wonder I get from exploring the world and learning the story. I'd say I'm an explorer in the Bartle taxonomy. But when I run the game, I don't get to explore I have to create the world and make the story. Alas, reading published adventures doesn't scratch the itch.
Are there any other explorer-GMs who could share some tips or, better yet, general approach to game-mastering?
Use a blank hex-map and crayons to mark terrain.

The closest I remember to what you are talking about is Source of the Nile (me and my brother still make jokes about "Chief converts but Witch-doctor tries to poison you"). Roll a die to see what the terrain is to be.

With that base you have to fit in, random events, relations with locals, etc.

The qualities of a given mode of transport can be found in books and manuals. Those are a necessity.

From a vague framework like this you can get details. For instance you know Pundits (British spies on the border) are working in high country and Magellan is working on the ocean. In that case it is the specs of terrain features that you are surveying and not the general area.

If it is fantasy there are more options. You can create monsters and wonders.
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Old 01-20-2021, 12:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: How to game master, being an explorer?

Wow very interesting, I may share similar views as you. I also enjoy some exploration but didn't have any time to prep games so came up with this set of procedures for running a hexcrawl for my friends as a randomly generated game on the fly.
It works like this:
So the PCs roll up a couple random characters (Randos) who are meant to be loser peasants who dont have much going on for them and hence nothing to lose in taking up adventuring. We then march them out of town in search of forgotten dungeons and treasure in the wilderness. Using a blank hex map the GM and players descover the world together by rolling randomly for each hex. Random encounters are rolled for along the way. Sometimes a dungoen or cave etc. is encountered. We then randomly generate the dungeons as we explore too having the players AND GM mapping wilderness and dungeons as we explore. It's OSR style fantasy when we use the old D&D monster encounter tables and treasure tables and it is amusingly deadly. A lot of fun and a nice change form story/plot driven games. You can check out some basic examples of play and rules download here:
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL...1C1qiJTXTp4KL1
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