Sunday, February 24, 2013

It Got a Little Too Quiet Around Here!

We've been busy the past week with the first real cleaning the house has seen since our son was born (he's 18 months old). We also picked up a roommate which necessitated some rearranging of furniture and belongings and such. Consequently, I've had to choose between blogging or actual gaming related activities, and I went with the latter.

Earlier in the week I read Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering cover to cover. I stand by my earlier assessment of it. It's got good advice, but nothing that merits the prices used print copies are advertised for on eBay and Amazon. It is explicitly geared towards individuals with GM experience, unlike Gamemastering by Brian Jamison, which takes a GM from character generation through running a session.

One difference which I may place a little more importance on than most, is that Robin Laws at least seems accepting of the dungeon crawl, whereas Brian Jamison seems to have an obvious disdain for the style.

Never the less, the latter's book has already proven immensely helpful, and, since the PDF is free, of the two, it is probably the title I'd recommend if anyone asked.

I also finished reading Poltava 1709: Russia Comes of Age which has me  fired up for my Great Northern War project. On Tuesday night I had a little time to paint and work proceeded on the battalion of Kievski Regiment infantry.

Tonight, I had planned to run the first session of the post-apocalyptic fantasy game for Lady Shadowmoss, but those plans have fallen through (hence the time for blogging!) which means  more time at the painting table this evening.

Finally, tomorrow night I'll be playing Session 13 of The Ever Expanding Dungeon in which our heroes return to the underground to finish mapping the 1st level.


  1. One of the things that I do when GMing is to pay attention to which players are contributing less (often because they are a bit shy).

    So I will roll some dice then have everyone roll a die and and let me know what they've rolled.

    All of these rolls are unimportant. They are merely window-dressing. I will then take the "shy" one aside and tell them that they've noticed something (it doesn't matter what . . . make something up) so that they have something to tell the rest of the party.

    Perhaps it is a cheap trick . . . but I feel that one of a GM's jobs is to involve everyone.

    -- Jeff

    1. I've done the "roll for no reason" thing to build tension, but I've never asked the players to roll for no apparent reason.

      I like that - both to involve a shy player and also, again, as a tension builder: "Wait. He asked us to roll. What did we miss?"


  2. I totally understand the cleaning thing. Our house is still in chaos since our son was born just over a year ago.

    1. I recall reading something like, "You can spend time cleaning or you can spend time with your baby. But you can't do both." I'm not sure how true it is, but it feels true most of the time!