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See You at ReaperCon!

Reaper

ReaperCon 13, sponsored by Reaper Miniatures, will be held October 20 – October 23, 2016 at the Premier Event Center in Lewisville, Texas. I’ve never attended the convention, though it’s only a few miles from my home. This year not only will I be attending, but I will be running a game at the con.

I’m more than a little bit nervous.

I’ve never run a game in a convention setting before. I’m nervous, but am looking forward to the experience. I’m getting myself well-prepared with my scenario, making sure that I have plenty of supplies so that folks can just sit down and play, and trying to make this as much of a welcoming experience for my players as I can. I figure if I can do that, I’ll be less nervous as well.

So, if you’re in North Texas in late October, come on by. There are 10 player slots at my table. I’ll be running a Dresden Files RPG/Fate Core game for the Red Dirt Roleplayers group on Saturday afternoon at 3 pm.

Here’s a schedule of gaming events for the con…

Hope to see you there!

Campaign Assessment: Taking Stock

Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks

Anytime you participate in a long-term endeavor, it is good to take stock of how you are doing and why you are doing it. The same can be said of a role-playing campaign. You want to be sure that the players are still invested in their characters and that they are still getting something out of the campaign. You want to sure that the campaign is still on-track with their goals. If you don’t have player buy-in, you are not going to have a successful campaign.

Recently, when my players reached 6th level in our Pathfinder campaign, I decided to do a campaign assessment. I wanted to know how things were going in our campaign and if I needed to change anything to make things better.

These are the questions I asked of my group. I asked them to answer them as players, not as their characters, and to answer them as honestly as possible.

  1. Overall, are you enjoying the campaign so far?
  2. What, specifically, are you enjoying about the campaign?
  3. What, specifically, are you not enjoying about the campaign?
  4. When you created your character, what were some of the goals you set for your character?
  5. Have you met any of those goals? Are you on track to meeting any of those goals?
  6. Going forward, what are some of the short term plans you have for your character?
  7. Going forward, what are some of the long term plans you have for your character?
  8. Do you wish to continue with the campaign?

I then took all of these answers and applied them to the campaign. Turns out I did need to make a couple tweaks. I ended up changing the experience track from the moderate to the fast track and have also made some behind-the-scenes changes to the storyline to try and accommodate some individual character goals. Now, I hope, I’m going to have more player buy-in and a more successful campaign. And I wouldn’t have necessarily known I needed to make these changes if I hadn’t stopped, taken stock, and asked questions.

Pathfinder Humble Bundle

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Take advantage of a great deal and give to a good cause with the Pathfinder Humble Bundle!

For as little as a $1 or as much as you want, buy up to $354 worth of Pathfinder roleplaying product. It’s a great deal and benefits Extra Life, a gamer-based charity that benefits Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Or choose a charity of your choice to benefit. You really can’t lose.

Be warned–this great deal is really dragging down Paizo’s servers, so be prepared to wait for your downloads of product. But it is worth the wait.

Click on the link below to check it out!

https://www.humblebundle.com/books/paizo-pathfinder-bundle?utm_source=Social&utm_medium=Link&utm_campaign=Humble_RPG_Book_Bundle_Paizo_Pathfinder

This great deal only runs through March 9, so be sure and visit the site today!

Lifehacker: How to Level Up Your Tabletop Role-Playing Games

Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks

There is a great article over at Lifehacker on how to really enhance your experience with table-top roleplaying.

I think that one of the most important pieces of advice given is to get all of the players on the same page. Whether you use one of the worksheets provided or simply have a conversation, it’s important that everyone understand their roles in the process and the expectations that everyone has for each other. Of course, I should take my own advice for my own roleplaying group. This could be a New Year’s resolution for me as a gamemaster.

What about you? What do you think you can do to level up your game? Share your thoughts in the comments!

 

Hitting Record on Your Sessions

Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks

When it comes to game mastering, I am an obsessive note-taker. One reason is that I use Obsidian Portal to document my sessions and post adventure logs. I want these logs to be as accurate as possible so that my players can refer to them and see what happened each session.

Part of the drawback of this is that I get so busy taking notes that I miss out on some of the game play, some of the great back-and-forth between the players during the session. This is especially true for my Dresden Files RPG sessions, which are primarily dialog-based–I practically have to transcribe the session to get it right. There has to be a balance.

In order to achieve that balance, I’ve started recording my sessions. I bought a relatively inexpensive digital recorder, the kind college students use to record lectures with, and simply record the whole session. My note-taking is reduced to actual notes instead of attempted transcription. Later, I go back and listen to the session to compile my adventure logs.

Going back to listen to the session gives me an added benefit–I hear myself gamemastering. And what a eye-opener that was.

It’s taking me a while to get used to hearing my voice–I still wonder how people can stand to listen to me. But, more importantly, I can hear the pacing of the adventure. This has been especially useful in my Pathfinder sessions.

I have found that I must the slowest-reacting GM this side of the Mississippi. The pacing of my adventures is about as exciting as listening to paint dry. Yes, listening to paint dry. It makes me wonder how the players come back week after week.

Part of the reason why I’m so poky, I realize, is that I’m a contemplator. I like to think things out before going forward. I also like to look things up and make sure I’m going them “right” before going ahead. But all of this kills the pacing and stomps on its corpse.

So what can I do? I can try to be better prepared so I’m not looking stuff up “at table” as much. And I can try to let go a bit and just see what happens instead of trying to plan it too much. Maybe my players will get a bit more enjoyment out of a faster paced game–especially combats, which are supposed to be fast-paced and dramatic.

So anyway, even if you don’t make it a habit, I encourage to record at least one of your sessions and play it back. You might be surprised at what you hear.