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Monday, August 13, 2018

World Building with No Time



Welcome back to Monday folks!

Fuck you Howard...

I had that coming I guess, but hopefully this blog will help brighten up your otherwise miserable day back at work/school, or if you're like me it will add a touch of sunshine to your otherwise cloudy, rainy, dreary life.  It's wet here guys, and it looks like it's going to stay that way today.

Maybe we start with a new podcast...this one may not make you smile as much as sneer, but hey, sometimes it's fun to be angry.  Don't want to give away any surprises, so have a listen.  It's short-n-sweet as usual.

I did promise Larry over at Follow Me, and Die Blog/Podcast a link to my AD&D1e ruleset resource on the Fantasy Grounds Forum, so here that is.  Remember, you need to be a member of the forum to download any links, so join in the conversation!


Today's blog post is something I probably touched on briefly in other posts, but never got around to fully exploring in a dedicated post.  I'm talking about World Building, and specifically, how I used to do it, to how I go about that business nowadays.

Back when I first discovered D&D, I remember being quickly introduced to the World of Greyhawk.  One of the first modules I was ever introduced to as a player was G1-3, better known as Against the Giants series, and via those modules I was introduced to a larger play-space, Greyhawk.  My DM at the time had been playing for about a year, and already had the PHB, the Monster Manual, and soon after a box appeared with a fully armored and mounted Knight on the cover, the World of Greyhawk, Fantasy Game Setting.



Honestly, when he pulled out that map and slowly unfolded it in front of me on the dining room table, I just about shit my pants with excitement.  It was magnificent, and I had never seen anything quite like it short of a fancy globe or map of the real world in school, both of which paled in comparison.

The only fantasy world maps I had ever seen were the small black and white doodles often placed in a fantasy novel before the prologue.  These small drawings helped give you some relational information, but really were unimpressive.  The Greyhawk map was a work of art, something that should be framed and mounted and displayed.  It brought D&D into my life, crossing the barrier between the real and the imagined.



It wasn't long before I became aware of DM's creating their own game worlds, spending hours, days, months and even years fleshing out the game space that inhabited their secret imaginations.  I don't think many had branched out too far from their Greyhawk roots, creating worlds with different kingdoms, less magic or more magic, with or without half-elves...you get my meaning here.  For the most part these fantastic realms started out as no more than simple shadows of Greyhawk, but each had a personal flourish that made it their creators own, a love child combining everything they loved about Greyhawk, and also included other influences literary, artistic, and imaginative.

I was not far behind my contemporaries.

Like my gaming friends ( a tight-knit group who shared the DM and players chairs with equal enthusiasm), I started by grabbing a pad of graph paper and attempting to map out my world.  About twenty pages later I had a coastline I was satisfied with.  Three hours had passed.  You see where i'm going with this?  Of course you do...you're a bright one you are...

It's likely I spent a year that way, drawing, mapping, populating, and grooming my game setting to be every bit as interesting and well thought out as Greyhawk...which it 100% was not.  No need for the gritty details here, but suffice it to say that I created while I was a player so that when it was my turn at the helm to DM, my friends would be amazed at what I had wrought.  I filled notebook after notebook with people, places, and plot hooks.

My friends wanted two things:

1. To try playing in a new Fantasy Setting known as Krynn
2. To not have me Lord it over them as DM of not only the game system but now the world I had crafted.



This was not in my plan, but I bowed to the majority and ran Dragons of Despair.  Honestly, that could be the reason that to this day, I really hate Krynn.  I know it has alot of devotees, and I did enjoy the novels at the time (well, certainly the first few), but if I never play in or run another game in Krynn it won't be too soon.

Meanwhile, my own setting languished in my desk drawer until a few years later I moved, and having found a few new folks to play with who were eager for someone to DM, I was able to enjoy playing through my game world.

...and then the 1980's came to an end.

Let's fast forward to 2008.  Alot of changes took place and now the internet is a thing, and it's also the year I discovered the VTT Fantasy Grounds.

Forgetting the differences in approaching a game IRL vs. online, the basics are the same, and I really wanted to develop a homebrew game world for playing with friends.  The intent was to leverage the power of the platform (the computer) and also make sure that my homebrew world would work online and offline.  It called for a new approach to building a world than graph paper and a notebook, even though these were just fine for IRL play only and continue to be useful tools for casual note-taking and info-gathering.

This time I downloaded a map from here using the Fantasy World Generator, which produced a nice Hexmap I could use for Story-driven or sandbox play.  The server takes a bit of time so let the browser wheel spin...don't keep clicking, let it do the work for you.  The resulting map is a PNG file that is easily editable in GiMP or Photoshop which was perfect.  In this way, I could add cities, towns, villages, dungeons, or whatever I wanted easily as the game progressed.

You see, I wasn't planning on building the world before we started to play, I was going to build it during gameplay using a combination player interaction, sandbox play with tables and pregen encounters and NPC's, and a little bit of pre-game prep to build the setting.  All I had to start with was a the computer-generated map and an idea for an initial town encounter to pull the party together.  The rest was open-ended and could have gone in any direction, much like a traditional sandbox...

...but I don't love endless sandbox play.

SO

As the game played out and I could see the sort of group/party that was coalescing, I began to shape the gameworld.  A rumor here, a sacred text there, I just rolled on tables and when a table didn't fit there was years of experience guiding my hand.  The World of Thayrun (that's what I called it, and honestly I should have spent a few more minutes on that.  I don't love it.) was born and the players both uncovered it's past and simultaneously and organically grew its future.

What were the mechanics I used to manage it?  That's a good question.

Fantasy Grounds is a great tool for world building, and it's an aspect of that software that doesn't get spoken of much.  You can add endless tables, NPC's, encounters, magic items, maps, and images to the campaign world and all of it is exportable.  That's key here.  



I usually start something like a small dungeon, monster idea, or magical item creation in Google docs and then copy/paste it later into FG2.

As new places are discovered on the map I alter the map in my graphic editor and then republish the map to FG2.

Some rulesets (including D&D5e) allow the use of 3rd party extensions that make world building even easier, like the ones created by Dulux-Oz over in the FG forums that are found here!  The Locations and Organisations extensions are particularly useful if the ruleset you play supports it.

Obviously there are a thousand ways to skin this particular cat.  The tools you use to create the world are less important (IMHO) than the method you adopt when you decide that a homebrew world is something you'd like to produce.  If your time is limited, like mine, then allowing the game itself to generate the wider, more wonderful world at large may be the method for you.  It's not that the idea of sitting down for a few weeks at a time and hacking out a game setting isn't appealing to me.  It's just as appealing now as when I was 13, maybe more so.  I'd love to get lost in that level of creation, but my schedule and life simply don't allow for a block of time that extensive.

I'm not sure if Roll20 allows for this method of building a world, but I'd be interested to hear about your experiences if this is your VTT platform of choice.

Next post I'll continue this theme by discussing my homebrew world a bit more specifically...the Gods, the monsters, the magic, and the tie that binds them all.

In the meantime...game on!






Friday, August 10, 2018

GoblinStompCast Episode 4



Just posting the latest episode here on the blog today.  It's Friday and I'm too pooped to post.  Stayed up late playing ACKS last night so running on coffee and fumes....anyway...you can listen here or head over to Anchor.fm to subscribe through your favorite Pod-Catcher (boy, I hate that term)




In this episode I post a few voice messages from the 'crew' as well as a discussion of Virtual Tabletops and a smattering of WFRP1e

SKAVEN!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

OSR Gameplay the Right Way



OK...that title was a bit click-baity.  Alright...alot click-baity, but hey, all the cool kids are doing it.

Full disclosure right up front, I don't believe that there is a wrong way to play if you are having a good time, but I do believe there are some basic guidelines to be met before you start changing things around.

Before we dig in too deep, maybe take a quick listen to my newest podcast episode.  I'll drop it in here, but feel free to subscribe.  The main page is here

https://anchor.fm/goblinstompcast

and you can click on any of the services to subscribe in the one you like best.  No need to use Anchor, they support everyone (mostly).




Love feedback, and you can leave me a message via the Anchor.FM app if you have it installed.

So, back to the meat of the blog post for today.

As I browse people/blogs I often stumble across someone who really gets me thinking about how I play, and what options I have.  I like to shine lights on these folks.  Let me refer you to one Mr. Anthony Huso, who works hard to maintain  a RAW (Rules as Written) game environment.  You can check out one of his blog posts here, but don't wander off too far, I've still got stuff to say.

I applaud Anthony.  I don't think in all my years as a DM/Player I have ever been in, run, or attempted to run a game without a) Using a house rule or two right from the get-go, or 2) Fudging a die roll at some point to make things better for someone or more dramatic for everyone.  Most OSR guys (and I assume DM's of newer games) will have taken similar action.  It is, I believe, the norm.  Rulebooks are packed with so much data and so many rules that for most of us it seems unreasonable not to expect a DM to wing it now and again.

Not Anthony.  He's not having any part of this nonsense, and good on him!

I'm not knocking house rules or dice fudging.  Hell, I've done it, and in all likelihood will continue to do it.  As the DM, while I feel a certain responsibility to entertain my players I also want to enjoy the experience as well.  I deserve to enjoy the game from behind the DM screen, don't I?  House rules are often what turns A game into YOUR game...an important factor.  Running a game RAW also differentiates a game, setting it clearly apart from what I believe are most games.

But let's not discount what Anthony does or how he does it as 'un-fun'.  If it was, I don't think he'd have kept at it for so long.  It's a bit dogmatic, and certainly requires effort and dedication on his part that I (as a DM) am unwilling to commit my gaming energy toward.  As a player, I'm intrigued.  I would certainly play in a game where the DM was using the rules as written.

What might the benefits be?

1. If you run RAW, you lose the Rules Lawyers because you ARE the Rules Lawyer!
2. Gameplay takes on a level of intensity if you know that every die roll might be your last...which Anthony addresses in his post (though certainly RAW is not the only way to introduce elements of danger, drama, or intensity into a game)
3. Uniformity of play

I'm sure there are other benefits, and negatives as well...but making lists isn't all that much fun so I'll stop there.

Playing any game RAW isn't the right or wrong way to play, it's a particular way to play.  So again, is there a WRONG way to play?

If I'm not having fun at your table, you may be DMing wrong for me (or have a DMing style I don't enjoy).

If I am in your OSR game playing a Thief, and I don't do any thiefy things and instead walk around playing my PC like a cleric, then I am playing wrong (I should have picked the Cleric class and chosen a god of Thieves, right?).  This will seem like an opinion to some folks...but it's not.  What it IS, in fact, is a player who has either not communicated well with a DM during character creation or a player who just wants to be disruptive.  Either way, it's wrong.

From Anthony's perspecive, I suppose that House Rules are the wrong way to run/play a game.

I know the mantra for many people, for many years, is that there is no wrong way to play.  I think we should be more specific.  There is no wrong way to implement the ruleset in order to engage in a manner of play that best suits you as the DM, and your players as long as everyone at the table is enjoying themselves.  It's not as short n sweet as the original, but it's a bit more clear.  Am I just being too picky here?  Maybe, but this is my blog where I talk about shit I wanna be picky about....



What did I learn from my time reading Anthony's blog?  Here's the take-away.  I thought alot about why I implement the house rules that I use.  I asked myself some questions...Is this helping or hurting the game system?  Is my house rule effective aka doing what I need it to do?  Do I know the rules well enough, and know how they interact with one another deeply enough, to feel comfortable making the change to my game?  And finally...If I turned this house rule, which I've implemented for well over 30 years, off...what would the net affect be?

Maybe it's time to re-evaluate your house rules.  Leave me some comments, let me know what you think.

As always, have fun, and Game On!






Monday, August 6, 2018

Locked in the Dungeon of Reality




Welcome Back Stompers!

As promised, I'm working to keep this blog (and now my GoblinStompCast) alive and healthy with a regular injection of  'content'  (that word I hate so much) and some things for us to chew on and if we are lucky, digest.

First, a new podcast episode is up.  You can download it all over the place but it's being hosted over at Anchor.fm.  Like many folks in our hobby, I'm finding it a convenient and quick way to get some thoughts down quickly and help guide the blog a bit.

Check it out here and if you like, subscribe by clicking on any of the podcast players listed so you can get regular updates.

Here's the 2nd, and newest episode...


Today I want to continue the thoughts in the podcast by referring you to a short blog post by The Mixed GM about D&D as a Lifestyle 

I can't stop the train from moving, but I think I've made it clear that while I'm fine with D&D being popular in general, and 5th edition + Social Media/The internet as the vehicle by which that has happened, I am not sure that the outcome for some folks is a positive one. 

This is not a post about politics in general, or the politics of gaming specifically.  What I'm wondering is this...if the corporate engine behind D&D (and RPGs in general) is creating a lifestyle brand out of their product lines, how much deeper might an individual fall into the spike pit of the unreal?  How much more tempting is it for a person to adopt D&D as a full on identity vs. a casual or even passionate hobby that they engage in?

Now, I wanna be the first one to say that I have spent countless hours playing in, DMing, and creating game worlds.    If you've listened to the newest podcast, I'm very up front about admitting that as a youth, I spent entire weekends devoted to game play.  Looking back on it, that intense and extended game time may not have been the healthiest choice for me, socially or psychologically.  The incentive was that not only did I get to take a long break from a reality in which I was uncomfortable and often unhappy, but that I had found a few friends who enjoyed playing as much as I did and good friendships were formed around a hobby and a shared social experience.  Yup, we were all nerds.

The difference between then, and now, is that we did not wear our colors proudly.  In fact, other than talking among ourselves about D&D, we didn't often share our hobby with others.  There were no t-shirts proudly proclaiming our love of the game, no chat rooms in which to meet other players, and a general hush about our pastime in mixed company.  I think that if the hobby had been more widespread, more socially acceptable, I might have fallen even harder into the game. 

Two things concern me about the current social state of the hobby.

First, by creating a 'lifestyle brand' around the game, and having popular television, movie, and internet personalities declaring their love of the game, are we creating yet another tribe.  The concept of tribalism has concerned me for some time.  While we talk about inclusivity and togetherness we continue to draw lines around ourselves to help us identify with specific groups.  Are you now a member of a team? Yet again, I am guilty of this.  I call myself an OSR guy, but does my love of Old School Gaming separate me from my fellow gamers?  Am I a member of a group willing to defend its position, and is this a dangerous thing?  Will there be a call to arms?

"We are OSR Gamers!  We Play the REAL D&D!  Join us, or get out of our way!"

My other concern is with obsession.  As a kid I think that I bordered on obsession when it came to D&D.  I admit freely that had I spent less time prepping and playing, and a bit more time on my social skills or on homework and studying, my life may have had a very different outcome.  I'm not blaming D&D for my current situation in life, but I think a deep examination of the events and behaviors that led me to this point is a valuable thing.

If D&D specifically, and roleplaying in general, become both increasingly popular and accepted as not only a hobby but as a social group with whom like minded folks can identify, are bad choices more or less likely to result?  How far will an individual go to find acceptance within the group? What sort of time investment is reasonable and rational when a hobby becomes a lifestyle?

I have more questions than answers, I know.  It's frustrating.  I still spend some time each day working on my game, my characters, storyline, VTT management and other aspects of our hobby.  This blog and the podcast are my attempt to remain involved and relevant in our community.  I certainly identify with other players of the game I love so much, regardless of which version or incarnation.  I'm not so keen on buying into this large tribe that seems to have arisen as a result of the forces I spoke of above.  I sit up on the fence...watching, waiting, and wondering.

In the meantime, Game on!



 


Friday, August 3, 2018

The Long Awaited Return...or not



I'm Back!!

After far too long, I've made my way out of my cave and my cups to once again scrawl my thoughts on gaming, some musings from the past that carved the statue that is me, and maybe bump heads or meet minds...all things are possible when the Goblin Stomper tosses out a blog post.

To make matters even worse, I'm adding a short, weekly PODCAST to my deluge of delights!



If you have a few minutes of your already too-short life to spare, give it a listen.  It won't be a replacement or an alternative to the blog, but hopefully a new branch of the Goblin Stomper tree.

So what have I been up to (aside from photography, which I will not delve into, seeing as how you likely don't care about my other silly hobby)?

The B/X game run by Special K (yeah Kelly, that's your new name) has come to a pause.  Life is in the way.  So the torch has been passed and now we move on to a new GM (he prefers GM to DM, for odd reasons of fetishistic sexual behavior) and a new game, Adventurer, Conqueror, King or ACKS for short!  I've been flipping my way through page after page of the core source material trying to create my first character and understand the nuances of this 'mostly' OSR style game.  Maybe more on this after I play a few rounds and get my feet wet.

I want to take a few to talk not about DM Burnout, which I've covered previously, but instead how it's important not to let your life become overwhelming.  Gaming is no fun if you feel obligated to keep doing it, and that goes for players as well as DM's.  I am at an age where my work and home-life responsibilities often lurch from dark corners and force me to make hard choices.  It's very likely that, unless you're a kid, you don't suffer from this condition.

Speaking as, and to, gamers who have to manage the circus of their adult life and who also try to maintain a steady diet of Fantasy Roleplaying in order to keep a balance between the fun and the really not fun...it's ok to bail if adulting throws you a curve ball.

I've often felt the guilt of the email or text or twitter dm where I have to bow out as a player, or worse yet, as a DM.  I expect those that I play with to fully understand, and most often they do.  No one should exert pressure or guilt because life interferes with table-time. 

If you have kids and they need your attention, give it.  If you are married or have a significant other who wants some of your time on game night, make that happen.  If your work demands are bearing down and you simply cannot shirk that responsibility...by all means bail.  Even if you simply are too exhausted from your everyday grind to bring a positive attitude and a fun face to your D&D session, call it off for a night and go chill.

All of our contact and connection through the internet and social media often feels like it's exerting some unseen pressure on us to participate.  I'm here to tell you that it's all bullshit.  Meaningless.  The Internet and social media are useful, but ultimately not a real concern.  If you left it all behind and just had your family, your friends, and your work, you would still lead a life...you could still find a game to play in and folks to play with.

If you miss a game or need to pass on the DM mantle for a while as you tend to other needs, no one will hate you...at least, no one that matters. 

I want to get back to some content creation, so next week I'm going to post something I hope is more game-useful and less life-affirming.  Thanks to all the folks who have come back to read again, and to those new to the blog as well.  I hope you find what I do here (and on the podcast) useful, fun, and thought-provoking. 

As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Game on!






Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Sharing the Game: The Value of the Club


My Photograph



I did not belong to a D&D club.  When I started playing in/around 1981/82 there were most certainly such things in some places, but none in my places.  Like many other kids my age at that time, I played with the few friends I had that also played. Other times I somehow accidentally discovered new friends who played.  None of us was in a club. The thought of such a thing, I think, never crossed our minds. It seemed like the sort of thing that few people were doing, many people didn’t know about, understand or far worse, were afraid of.  It was fringe, as many of the best things were (and perhaps still are). There were no clubs.

I really, REALLY, wish there had been a club.

Last night I spent my evening at a camera club meeting that was rather unusual.  Our typical meetings revolve around competitive showings of our work, discussions of trips and photo-walks, maybe an exchange of ideas or techniques.  We often have guest judges or on occasion simply a guest speaker, but last night was something far more interesting, involving, enlightening, and special.  

The club, each year (and this is my first year as a member so it was a new experience for me) hosts an evening with the members of another local club of sorts, the Stetson Shutterbugs.  A very nice article appeared in Philly.com about the club, which is worth a read.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20 kids from one of Philadelphia’s well known neighborhoods, though it isn’t well known for its positive qualities.  It’s easy to forget that while it can be a great city in many ways, it also suffers from many of the same problems that plague large cities across the country, and even the globe.  These were kids who come from a very tough neighborhood...a neighborhood not too unlike the one I work in every day at the pawnshop.

Xavier's Photograph


These kids showed their work, each standing up and walking over to our big screen and adding some information and context for their photos.  It was brave. It was interesting. It was wonderful. As each image flashed on the screen, an often tiny, meek, squeaky voice would chime in.  

“This is a photo of my grandfather.  I chopped off the top of his head accidentally, but I really like it,” said one young girl.

We commented on it.  The lines were nice and lead the eye to his eyes..  The image was clear and the composition was minimal, but there was some distracting items on the right of the image.

“This is a place I passed by while heading to the hospital with my mom for an appointment.  It’s a dangerous place where there are bad people and also drug abusers, who can’t always help it.  They go to rehab but them come out and come here to do their drugs again,” said a curly-haired boy.

It had great light and shadow.  The columns on the right were a nice leading line to the brightness at the far side of the image.  The trash on the ground added to the context.

“This picture I took while walking with my mom to the dollar store.  The umbrella is over the lady’s head and face, so I thought it looked cool.  We see her here sometimes. She’s homeless or crazy maybe. Once she shook a rock at me,” another girl informed us.

I had two thoughts banging around in my head.  The first was that these kids were taking great photos.  These were images unclouded and raw, emotionally open, and while not always crafted with the eye and hand of a seasoned master or professional (of which I am neither BTW...far from it) the images did what a good photo (or any art) should do in my opinion, which is share a visual moment that contains a story, emotional, visceral, intellectual...something is transmitted through the image to the viewer.  There were few photos, even before the child spoke about it, that didn’t evoke a particular thought or feeling from me.

The second thought was more of a question.  Just how important is a club like this, for children living in this place at this time?  Even if they do not carry on with photography as a lifelong pursuit on any level, how important is it right now to have a group of like-minded people and thoughtful teachers guiding these kids in this way, using photography as a creative vehicle?



What if there had been a club in my middle school for kids who wanted to play, or learn to play, D&D?

I was lucky, on many levels.  As for D&D, I found friends who played or were willing to learn.  Not having a club available didn’t stop me from playing, but how many kids who had an interest in the game were, i’m sure, not as lucky.  When I started gaming it was the time of the Satanic Panic that many of us know so well, but while I was aware of the issue it didn’t affect me.  How much easier would it have been for ostracized kids who wanted to play if their school offered a club to join, something official to legitimize and de-demonize a fun and creative hobby?

The kids I met last night were great.  They walked around taking photos of us, each other, and the event as it unfolded.  I know that if you put one of my street photos next to one of theirs, you wouldn’t know (or care) who made which.  Keep in mind that these kids were learning photography with pinhole cameras, old SLR’s, and black & white film.  Their guide and mentor wanted them to think about the photograph at the simplest level, and not worry about which setting, or what colors, or how to post-process the images they were making.  He wanted them to just slow down, see a scene, make a photo. It seemed to me the perfect approach to teaching, and the best way to learn. It is, BTW, completely the opposite way that I learned (and am still learning) to make a photo.  

If I was to start a D&D club, I would take the same approach.  Basic D&D. Simplify the learning process and find your place quickly, enjoy the game and don’t worry about rules and tables to complicate the character sheet.  The hardest part should be deciding on a name...then play.
What is more important, the game, or the sense of belonging?  The process, or the community? The group, or the art it creates?

The kids I met last night told us a story, showed us their art, and none of us left the gathering un-moved by our shared experience.

It was great to meet you, kids of Stetson Middle School. Thanks Tony Rocco, for your dedication and devotion to these and other kids who have come before, and will come after. I'm not sure if the enormity of what you do has been, or will ever be properly recognized, but it certainly has not gone unnoticed by this author/gamer/photographer.

Thanks to all of the organizers of clubs everywhere, of every kind.  Your contribution is important, and does not go unnoticed.

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Friday After Report Returns!!!


Drink your Potion, and Prep your 6 Demon bag!


Welcome back to those who have blessed me with their eyeballs before, and also welcome newcomers!  Once again I’m back with some thoughts on gaming, as always energized and inspired to jot down my meager thoughts after a night of #ELITE B/X gaming with my internet friends…

Wait.  Internet friends?  Is that what they are, or have they simply become friends?  Yes, we met on the internet, but is that how I should classify folks I enjoy spending time with, even if we haven’t done so IRL?  It seems limiting and unnecessarily organized. Screw that.



Last night I had a super-fun time playing some B/X on Roll20 (not an endorsement) with my friends, and a hearty and heartfelt thanks you Kelly (twitter @oxfordgamer) for taking time from what I know is a busy schedule to run our somewhat motley crew directly into a trap, nearly killing us all.  It was the most fun I've had all week, and I certainly needed it.

Two things I wanted to cover in this (hopefully) short blog post.  

The first is DM preparedness.  It’s something I often take for granted, many times landing in the camp of ‘I’ve been doing this for so long that I can just plop my ass into a chair and run a game, as long as I have some source material in front of me...no need for prolonged prep’.  Really, I’m fooling myself. Can I do what i think I can do? Yes. Can I do it as well as if I had taken even 1 or 2 hours out of my week to prepare some encounters, NPC’s, or a bit of a dungeon? Nope. No one can. Blanket statement. You might disagree, but you’re just bullshitting yoursel
Sometimes your Bench time is a good time to Plan
f into thinking you are far more awesome a DM than you actually are.  

There is no individual in any area of endeavor or activity that would not benefit from additional preparation.  I’m a firm believer in this. I may not always be a practitioner of this belief, but I know and feel it to be true.  If you are running a game and do so each and every week without a single moment of prep time, that’s fine. I’m not telling you how to run your game, because I know that everyone’s panties will ball up in a wad and get wedged up their asses if I do.  I am saying that if this is your particular ‘style’ of DMing, you’d be amazed at how much better your game will run if you add a bit of prep time to your practice.

Try it, don’t try it...I don’t really care.  I’m not in your game. I hope that by this time my opinions hold a small bit of water that you may find useful.  Your NPC’s will feel more 3 dimensional, the play will seem/be smoother and the moments of lag between scenes and interactions will diminish or disappear, leaving you with a game that hums along and adds to the enjoyment of all, and most certainly will reduce your stress levels.

In all honesty, after writing the above I’ve already forgotten what the second item was.  That should clue you in on the kind of week I’m having. It’s fine, I can always blog about it later, but I really should learn to outline before I begin writing.  Heh...prep.



If you are a gamer who is also into photography, I’d love to connect with you via Instagram or Flickr, or just simply have you visit my photo website or check out my podcast.  I’m not selling anything or pushing products through any affiliate links (nor do I plan to). I’m new to photography as a hobby and I’m enjoying it immensely, and so sharing it a bit with others seems a natural thing for me to do.  I’m always looking to make new photo-friends just like this blog has really helped me make some great new gaming-friends.

As always, be well….and Game on!






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