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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 32 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Gamemasters Manual  (Read 1389 times)
Bart Baplu
Member

Posts: 11


« on: November 21, 2011, 05:21:38 AM »

I created a document for every gamemaster to use.  It's for new gamemasters to give you a solid base to start with and for seasoned gamemasters to give you some fresh ideas.  I hope you enjoy it!

You can download it at : http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/FantasyCreation/files/
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Glenn Vandre
Member

Posts: 11


« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2011, 02:19:23 PM »

I really don't want to join Yahoo anything.  Can you find another way to present your document so that it is accessible without having to jump through a bunch of hoops.  Sorry... lazy (and possibly drunk).  Post it as a pdf or something?   I'm interested in reading, but I'm not gonna join a virus site like Yahoo. 
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Bart Baplu
Member

Posts: 11


« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2011, 11:06:10 PM »

I'm not all that into this matter, so actually no, I don't know any other way.  But if you'll give me your mail, I can always mail it to you!
Greetings and thx for taking interest.
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Bart Baplu
Member

Posts: 11


« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2011, 11:08:42 PM »

OK, I found your mail on your personal information.  The file is heading your way!
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Bart Baplu
Member

Posts: 11


« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2011, 11:16:23 PM »

I removed this file from the yahoo-group to put in a disclaimer from David Kenzer, who's wonderfull cartoons I used.  Normally, it will be back on the group (with the disclaimer) by tonight.
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Bart Baplu
Member

Posts: 11


« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2011, 07:50:40 AM »

OK the file is back online.  Enjoy ... again!
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bosky
Member

Posts: 38


WWW
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2011, 01:41:42 PM »

Just throw the file up on http://www.mediafire.com/ which is one of the better free hosting sites.
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Author of the Dinosaur Cowboys skirmish game.
Josh Porter
Member

Posts: 58

I want to be old.


« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2011, 09:48:54 AM »

You might also try Google Docs.  Upload the file and then you can share the link.
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I am playtesting Flawed and Caterpillar.
I am playing Dresden Files.
Chris_Chinn
Member

Posts: 280


« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2011, 03:17:08 PM »

Hi Bart,

What kind of feedback are you looking for? 

I see several things that could be worth discussing:
- what types of game play your ebook is aimed at, and what games it will not work for
- clarifications over contradicting advice ("Don't tell players how to react" vs. "You can't allow players to go killing each other...")
- More information based on whom your expected audience is
- More techniques

Or if you had something else in mind?

Chris
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Bart Baplu
Member

Posts: 11


« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2011, 08:23:33 AM »

- what types of game play your ebook is aimed at, and what games it will not work for
Not really ... this was meant to be a universal manual.  But maybe that can be a point of discussion on itself.

- clarifications over contradicting advice ("Don't tell players how to react" vs. "You can't allow players to go killing each other...")
I never said that you can't allow players to kill each other.  I only pointed out that you have to be carefull with that because it can easily escalate into a killing frenzee or retribution upon retribution and that's no fun.

- More information based on whom your expected audience is
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that.

- More techniques
Always welcome off course ... if this manual is the start of a bigger work on how to be a successful GM ... all the better!
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Chris_Chinn
Member

Posts: 280


« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2011, 09:29:50 AM »

Hi Bart,

Actually, I was asking what kind of feedback you wanted so we can give it to you.

Your document seems to indicate it's aimed at both new GMs and experienced ones, but a lot of the advice doesn't give enough steps for a new GM to fully utilize it.   If you let us know who you're writing for, we can give better feedback.

Chris
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Bart Baplu
Member

Posts: 11


« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2011, 11:15:04 PM »

Hi Chris, well maybe that 's good feedback...what does this document miss to be a guide to really new GM's ...

I posted it again on google docs because there are so many people complaining about yahoo :

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VeWvQqjpToxHT0P9sbB9LaAeu0zeTLsNZJgMnoM9UTs/edit

Enjoy!
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Bart Baplu
Member

Posts: 11


« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2011, 11:16:15 PM »

Sorry that was the other link ...

This is the right one : https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CIqtVyvqMKmTSqDP8JCYI1oBD3d69L4RB5lNbM_AwnQ/edit
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Chris_Chinn
Member

Posts: 280


« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2011, 08:41:16 AM »

Hi Bart,

Probably the biggest issue running throughout the document is that new GMs need step-by-step procedures to apply any new technique or advice.   You have a lot of advice, or what I call "directives" written, but not the procedures which someone would make it happen in play.

Let's start with the most basic example:
Quote
A lot of new gamemasters fall into the trap of
making just one storyline per adventure.  That means that the players are forced to
follow that and only that storyline.  We call that a ‘one-line-scenario’.

There's plenty of Basic D&D editions where the only rules given to a new GM is how to make a dungeon or location with challenges or puzzles- there's no such thing as making a storyline of any type - if there's a story, it comes out of navigating that location.  (There's also a lot of games that make having a prepared storyline impossible, and that's another issue...)

Even if you assume the GM does know how to make a storyline, then there comes the issue of what does "multiple storylines" look like and how do you put that together?

One of the core problems of a lot of rpgs, is they're not written for beginners, and the actual steps to doing anything is left out, in favor of advice.  The problem is, you can't get to the advice without knowing some steps that make it happen, so a lot of gamers spend years through trial and error trying to reach the goals of the advice in game books without knowing the HOW to do it.  Which would be exactly why folks would be looking for GM's advice...

In your document, you give a new GM a lot of stuff - techniques under "Keep it Interesting" pg. 6, "Creating Successful Adventures" pg. 7, "Characters", "Theme & Premise" on pg. 9 and "SHET" on pg 10 - if I were a New GM, I'd be wondering how exactly I'm supposed to do all these things at once or, if I'm supposed to pick and choose, and what criteria I'd be applying any of it.

Basically, you need to decide if you want to go through the pain of writing the actual steps to all of this and how it fits together.

Which is also why most rpgs aren't written for beginners, they simply assume people know.

An issue secondary to the document, but primary to the advice

The second issue has to deal with the contradictory problem that you cannot both have a prepared storyline/outcomes and have the players have full agency over their characters.  Ron wrote an essay which I think highlights this issue fairly well - Setting & Emergent Stories:  http://adept-press.com/wordpress/wp-content/media/setting_dissection.pdf

Another thing you may want to check out is my Same Page Tool - which highlights just how different some rpgs can be and you might see how some of the advice you're giving would have a limited scope in terms of which games it can apply to: http://bankuei.wordpress.com/2010/03/27/the-same-page-tool/


Anyway, if you choose to make alterations (either more for beginners, or less so) and want more feedback, I'll be happy to check it out.   If you'd like to talk about the stuff in the latter part, you might find it best to talk about it in comparison to your game experiences in a new thread in Actual Play.

Chris
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