Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Roleplaying in General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-09-2020, 08:32 AM   #1
Gnomasz
 
Gnomasz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Poland
Default How to game master, being an explorer?

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?
__________________
My irregular blog: d8 hit location table
Gnomasz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2020, 09:07 AM   #2
ericthered
Hero of Democracy
 
ericthered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: How to game master, being an explorer?

I know one thing I do is to plan short campaigns: I don't plan to run a single game indefinitely: the campaign is about a single problem or group of problems, and when that's solved, the game is over. The PC's can see the end coming, and the epilogues we've done have been very well received. Then I move on to a completely different setting.

Does world-building scratch your itch? That could be quite satisfying for you, or it could be quite hollow, I don't know.

I love using random generators in Game Mastering. The Collaborative Gamer has an excellent set, especially for NPC's and his "Solo6" (which doesn't have to be used for solo games). I also just kind of collect random generators from all over the place. (including a bunch of custom ones)

Is your dilema about gaming because you can't find a good GM, or for other reasons?
__________________
Be helpful, not pedantic

Worlds Beyond Earth -- my blog

Check out the PbP forum! If you don't see a game you'd like, ask me about making one!
ericthered is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2020, 03:01 PM   #3
Gnomasz
 
Gnomasz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Poland
Default Re: How to game master, being an explorer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I know one thing I do is to plan short campaigns: I don't plan to run a single game indefinitely: the campaign is about a single problem or group of problems, and when that's solved, the game is over. The PC's can see the end coming, and the epilogues we've done have been very well received. Then I move on to a completely different setting.
Might as well try it, though I'd have to loosen up my obsessive prep.

Quote:
Does world-building scratch your itch?
Not really, I'm afraid. Building the game mechanics for a world does, but it usually goes to waste after a couple of sessions.

Quote:
I love using random generators in Game Mastering. The Collaborative Gamer has an excellent set, especially for NPC's and his "Solo6" (which doesn't have to be used for solo games). I also just kind of collect random generators from all over the place. (including a bunch of custom ones)
This is a very interesting idea. Maybe the random factor could spark some joy for me as well. I'll look into that!

Quote:
Is your dilema about gaming because you can't find a good GM, or for other reasons?
Kind of. I can't find a willing GM (never mind a good one) among my friends, and I just can't bring myself to play with strangers.
__________________
My irregular blog: d8 hit location table
Gnomasz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2020, 08:37 PM   #4
Shostak
 
Shostak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: New England
Default Re: How to game master, being an explorer?

A few answers:

1. Invent your own setting, starting with a small town or city and "explore" it through the creative process, discovering it only shortly before your players do as you need to create more.

2. Set your game in the real world, but in a time and location you know little about (feudal Japan, the Silk Road, Constantinople, Ancient Egypt, etc.) Get some source books (GURPS has lots) and enjoy learning about the world.

3. The Fantasy Trip has materials which can be used to randomly generate labyrinths and dangers--drop tables, megahexes, labyrinth generator cards, rumor cards, adversary cards, etc.
Shostak is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2020, 08:05 AM   #5
Gnomasz
 
Gnomasz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Poland
Default Re: How to game master, being an explorer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
A few answers:

1. Invent your own setting, starting with a small town or city and "explore" it through the creative process, discovering it only shortly before your players do as you need to create more.

2. Set your game in the real world, but in a time and location you know little about (feudal Japan, the Silk Road, Constantinople, Ancient Egypt, etc.) Get some source books (GURPS has lots) and enjoy learning about the world.

3. The Fantasy Trip has materials which can be used to randomly generate labyrinths and dangers--drop tables, megahexes, labyrinth generator cards, rumor cards, adversary cards, etc.
I don't really enjoy creating a setting, but I might do the 2 latter points. I'll have an excuse to read obscure wiki articles :D
__________________
My irregular blog: d8 hit location table
Gnomasz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2020, 09:04 AM   #6
Stormcrow
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Default Re: How to game master, being an explorer?

So you want to be a player, not a GM, but you're the only possible GM available. This is the point where you should seek games looking for players.

Another possibility is to play a game using something like Mythic GM Emulator, either with your group of friends or solo. This is a system that literally replaces GM decisions with random rolls. Anytime you come across a GM decision, like describing what's in a room, you pose a yes/no question to the emulator and get a response. "Are there monsters in the room?" "Yes." Consult your table of random monsters. "Does the guard know anything about a scraggly-haired man traveling with the caravan?" "No." "Okay, I'm pretty sure he didn't come this way." It gives surprisingly immersive results. You can use it in conjunction with your preferred RPG rules.
Stormcrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2020, 09:54 AM   #7
Apollonian
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Kenmore, WA (north of Seattle)
Default Re: How to game master, being an explorer?

I'll second the random element. I also like exploration in my games, so I lean heavily on random generation; this procedure lets me be surprised with the results. "Why does this dungeon have two groups of white apes?" That provokes my creative impulse into coming up with answers for discordant results. I feel free to tweak results to come up with something for players to have fun with, but I get a much more satisfying result off of random or semi-random input than I do from making it up whole cloth.

The other thing I do is research; I generally try to "start with earth" for my campaigns, and so I end up doing a lot of exploring in that sense; I now know much more than I ever expected to know about medieval Switzerland as a result of a short campaign a few years ago, for example.
Apollonian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2020, 04:26 AM   #8
vicky_molokh
GURPS FAQ Keeper
 
vicky_molokh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyïv, Ukraine
Default Re: How to game master, being an explorer?

Quote:
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?
Some while ago I ran into a similar-looking question, and it seems this kind of answer was well-enough received.
__________________
Vicky 'Molokh', GURPS FAQ and uFAQ Keeper
vicky_molokh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2020, 01:24 PM   #9
Gnomasz
 
Gnomasz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Poland
Default Re: How to game master, being an explorer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Some while ago I ran into a similar-looking question, and it seems this kind of answer was well-enough received.
This looks great! It's also a second source that somehow recommends Dungeon World, and it makes me wonder…
One thing that worries me is that a lot seems to depend on improvisation, which I don't feel particularly good at. But with enough reading and re-thinking, this might work.
__________________
My irregular blog: d8 hit location table
Gnomasz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2020, 07:00 AM   #10
vicky_molokh
GURPS FAQ Keeper
 
vicky_molokh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyïv, Ukraine
Default Re: How to game master, being an explorer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnomasz View Post
This looks great! It's also a second source that somehow recommends Dungeon World, and it makes me wonder…
One thing that worries me is that a lot seems to depend on improvisation, which I don't feel particularly good at. But with enough reading and re-thinking, this might work.
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.
__________________
Vicky 'Molokh', GURPS FAQ and uFAQ Keeper
vicky_molokh is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bartle, explorer, game mastering

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.