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Old 12-02-2013, 04:58 AM   #61
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Session Recap: The Awakening - The Night-Dimmed Day, Part III, Game Session 1

The Dead Men make it back to Chicago proper and start doing what any organized group of people with military grade weapons do during a possible end of the world scenario.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:40 PM   #62
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Triple Threat: Nightgaunts

They tickle you until you are immobilized, that doesn't sound entirely unpleasant, right?

Updates early because I've been having some issues with my leg and I have no idea when it'll act up again.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:13 PM   #63
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Love it. Then again, as long as you keep statting up HP Lovecraft stuff, I'll keep loving your posts.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:43 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humabout View Post
Love it. Then again, as long as you keep statting up HP Lovecraft stuff, I'll keep loving your posts.
Since they are part of the main thrust of my current (active) campaign - they'll probably be more. ;-)
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:28 AM   #65
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Gamemaster's Guidepost: Pacing Your Game Sessions

My planned game session got canceled yesterday (and with good reason), so instead of a session recap - have a blog post on game pacing.
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:55 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostdancer View Post
Gamemaster's Guidepost: Pacing Your Game Sessions

My planned game session got canceled yesterday (and with good reason), so instead of a session recap - have a blog post on game pacing.
Another point I've found useful which relates to the last sentence of your point 5 "No game plan survives the first encounter with your players." is:
Don't over complicate things, the players will do that for you.

For a 4 hour session, plan 2 hours worth of scenes/action, and the players will find a way to add the extra 2 hours of complications.

I can't remember where I first read that, might have been: Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering.
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Old 12-10-2013, 06:20 AM   #67
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That is a excellent point. In fact, I used to do this ALL the time, I eventually
"bred it out" of my way of thinking, but it took a bit.
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:26 AM   #68
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Great post! For me, the biggest takeaway is that Planning Matters. At my best, I'm definitely a Planner GM ... the more I think through a campaign/session/scene, and specifically, the more I write about it, the more detail and nuance I can provide in the game. This sets out more information for the PCs to react to and think about, simultaneously giving them more agency in the game, and giving me more influence over what they know (and how they likely react).

The trap, of course, is to set up so many expectations that you're tempted to railroad them when they start to veer off of your carefully-planned track. That's where Thinking on Your Feet comes in ... some of my best games have been when the players focused in on something that I totally hadn't expected them to. Turns out, I liked their (mis-)conception of my plot better than the original, so I quietly rearranged things behind the scenes to make it work.
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:12 AM   #69
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Thanks! To a degree, I do the same thing, but I'm kind of a...let's say, I'm really empathic and I notice things really well. So much so that I can guess what a given player might do before they do it. This allows me to tailor events to the player characters without them being any the wiser to what I'm doing. When I am wrong (and that's pretty rare), it's a fun surprise for everyone and leads the entire group into rather fun and interesting sessions. Still, I mostly plan the campaign a ton in the beginning, front-loading campaign creation much like GURPS front-loads character creation. From there I'm pretty improv until I start the next story arc, at which I turn into a pumpkin...errr, turn back into planner-GM. I've been running games for nearly two decades, and I've rarely gotten complaints. ;-)
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:18 AM   #70
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Totally, and that's where Rule the First, Know Thy Players is so important. There's nothing like that feeling of satisfaction when they Take the Bait, just like you knew they would, and start the chain of dominoes a-tumblin. Or better, when they Throw Back the Curtain (or Pull off the Mask, etc) and figure out what's really been going on -- which, now that they know the Truth, all makes sense in retrospect.

And as you say, it's all about what works for a given GM and group. I've known GMs who are at their best flying by wire, successfully pulling entire campaigns out of their hats, particularly when they know the players well ... not me, though. The less time I spend thinking about the details (descriptive details, plot devices and twists, or even laying out epic fight scenes), the less satisfied I end up being with the results. I find that to be the case general, I think: I do my best work in revision.
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