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Whybird
Aug 2, 2009

Phaiston have long avoided the tightly competetive defence sector, but the IRDA Act 2052 has given us the freedom we need to bring out something really special.

https://team-robostar.itch.io/robostar




Nap Ghost

Have you considered making props for festival LARP games? There are a couple I know of that'd kill to have someone like you creating stuff that they can give out to their players.

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Bad Munki
Nov 4, 2008

We're all mad here.



I wanted to try the butter and baking thing, so I gave it a shot this morning.



My process for that was:
1) Spread a very thin layer of butter on flat paper.
2) crumple the paper into a ball, mostly flatten it back out
3) spread a little more butter on to get caught on the new ridges
4) bake on 200 for a while, decide itís taking too long, turn it up to 350 and just watch it closely
5) after taking it out, give it another crumpling to make the bright wrinkle marks.

Not sure how I feel about it. I like the transparency it gives the paper, and the white stretch marks at the end are cool. Also make the paper feel more brittle, like real parchment. However, I donít really like the golden orange color. I used coffee for my other attempts, it gave it a more brown, dirty look, rather than a nicely browned baked good. Maybe a combination of both, or a brown wash at the end or something. More experimentation is warranted. Oh, also, the white strip across the thing is a heat shadow from the rack, so watch out for that as well.

Bad Munki
Nov 4, 2008

We're all mad here.



All right, here's the process as it stands so far.

1) Grab some scratch paper. Nothing special. I had some car dealer letterhead on some nicer paper, it didn't work at all. Too thick, couldn't handle being crumpled while wet. I just used some typical relatively cheap printer paper.



2) Grab some leftover coffee grounds from this morning (or last night.)



3) Add some water, like a quarter cup, and boil the poo poo out of it. It'll be the worst coffee you ever made, it'll make a mess in the microwave, but the goal is to get the strongest extraction you can and then reduce it down. Run it through a filter, and actually wring it out a little. It's okay if we get some grit or even if the filter breaks and we get some grounds. That works in our favor for a map that's seen harder days.



4) Our stain is ready to go.



5) Crumple your paper up into a ball, once. You don't need to kill it or anything, you're just trying to get some random wrinkles in it and train it to fold along those lines.



6) Flatten it back out! If you get it wet while it's a ball, you'll destroy it trying to open it back up.



7) Toss it in the stain, press it down in there and make sure it's fully covered, but don't try to wad it up again, just press it down in.



8) CAREFULLY extract it, and spread it out on a rack. It's delicate at this point, so be careful. Don't flatten it all the way out, let it stand up and down a little. I dripped a little extra stain on it so it would be concentrated in the low spots as it dried.



9) Transfer the rack into a COLD oven. Set the oven to 200 at most. Keep an eye on it, check it once in a while. Once it starts to get mostly dry, you can flip it if you want to.



10) Remove it from the oven, make sure it's all dry, and mostly flatten it out. The stain deposits from before left some fine coffee dust, that'll just brush off with your fingers and leave some nice dirty spots. Because I was experimenting this morning, my oven was more preheated than I realized, so I accidentally burnt some lines onto it from the rack. Whoops! Won't really matter in the end, though. Here's the top face that the stain was sitting directly on:

And here's the underside. It's a fair amount clearer, so I'm going to use this as the map face:

That way, we'll have some neat interest for the back "blank" side, and a fairly clear space to draw the map on on the other side.


11) Find a map to crib from. Just google "antique map" and poke around. For my previous map, I used an antique map of Mauritius. Some things to note here: rivers aren't very mapped out. They would probably see them from the water, and just say, "Ehh, river goes inland," and mark it as wiggling straight in. Also, certain features are greatly exaggerated. Case in point, that peninsula on the south. I don't know really anything about how those maps used to be made, but I think it probably had a lot to do with sailing around the coast and eyeballing it as you went, so things like features you had to go around would get blown out of proportion. Here's the map of Mauritius, which I used for my first map, and acted as a style guide for both:


Here's the map I'll be using this time:


Drop the color, crank the contrast, etc. Do whatever you can to make the black outline more pronounced.



12) Set up the world's saddest light box, we're going to more or less trace the coast line. Not exactly, but as a guide at least.


Lights out, it's actually not so bad:


The work we did on the paper earlier makes it a bit harder to see through to trace, but if you flip the paper up from time to time to get your bearings, it works out fine. The important thing is to see lots of little wiggles in there, that gives it a lot of living detail. I just used a .5mm mechanical pencil.


13) All ready for putting down some actual lines. I used mini paint and a 000 brush, for a couple reasons. One, the brush makes the line work have some variation to its thickness. If a pen were used, it would be too consistent, I think, and look unnatural. Two, using paint instead of ink means the artwork doesn't go through the paper. I think on parchment, the ink would stay to one side? But certainly on this paper, actual ink would soak right through. I think. Maybe I'm totally wrong there. Anyhow, I don't want that, and I have a poo poo ton of paints, so paint it is.


I used reaper's HD solid black, because it was handy and has a ton of pigment. I want the coastline to really pop. I also added a few islands here and there for interest.



14) Add some mountains. Same black as the coastline. These are real easy: just an upside down V with a bit of swoop to it. Coming down from the peak to the right, use a thicker stroke or two strokes, for an impression of a shadow cast on the mountain. Loosely based on our Mauritius map style guide. Scatter them around, and it looks nice if the lower mountains occlude the higher ones here and there. I'll just put a couple mountain ranges in.



15) Add some rivers and lakes. For this map, I used reaper's Soft Blue. I think for the previous one, I used Denim, which worked better. They both have a fairly strong color without being too saturated, but the Denim is lighter and lower saturation, which makes it look more like the color has faded over time, and helps it to contrast the black coastline. I wanted a little more than the Mauritius "river goes in" look, so I added more wiggles. I think one of the key aspects of the river line work is having the brush stroke really thin out to nothing. That micro thin point on the lines looks really good to me.



16) Add some forests and marshlands. Reaper's IMEF Olive looks good for this. Strong enough color, but lower saturation to look more like a historic paint that might not have had the most awesome pigments. For the trees, I do two small upside down Vs with a vertical line down for a trunk, and a horizontal line for the ground. Use the very tip of that 000 brush, these need to be tiny to give it the look we want. It's okay if they're messy, nothing is perfect. This is one of those things where on average, it looks good, but if you decide to peer at any particular tree, they're clearly all different and hand-drawn. Also, don't go placing trees everywhere there might be some. We just want to mark the "notably foresty" forests. For the marshland, I just did some very fine horizontal lines here and there over the area, with a bit of bounce to stipple them a bit. Or maybe that's grassland. I dunno, it's up to you.



17) Add the shoals. I used Reaper's black wash, and a fair amount of thinner medium. You'll have to play with the mix to get the right look: I wanted it to give a good color, but not actually obscure what's underneath. I guess it's sort of a glaze? Mostly I just put these wherever I want them, to make some interest on the coastline and possibly to guide traffic.



18) Burn it up. I tore off some parts I wanted to totally burn away, and then used a lighter to burn the edges. I like to let it smolder a bit, it lets the burn creep in here and there and gives it a more realistic look, like it were between the pages of a book that was burnt and that saved some of it. Once the burn gets to where you want, just pinch it out with your fingers. The other benefit to letting it smolder is that it gets some ash on your fingers which then get smudged onto the map when you pinch it out.


Burn as much or as little of the perimeter as you like. For this one, I went all the way around, but leaving a couple straight cut edges looks nice too.



19) Burn a hole or two in it. For that, pinch a spot of the map up into a point, and light that on fire. Pinch it out once it's gone far enough.



20) Carefully use your lighter on the flattened map to char some spots without actually burning through. This can be a touchy process, but be patient and if it starts to smoke, remove the flame and quickly plant your finger on it so sap the heat.



21) Last step: add a dark past. For this step, I used Citadel's Carroburg Crimson. It ends up being a bit purple, a better blood would be something that looks a lot more rust colored, but this is fine, we're going to interest more than accuracy.


Grab a big brush and get it right on there. I prefer to do one finger at a time, makes it easier to get the placement just how I like.


Okay, I went a little TOO heavy on the first one, but the others are okay. Also I was excited to be wrapping up so I absent-mindedly started my finger prints on the front side. I wanted to do a few on the back and a thumb on the front, but hey, poo poo happens. So the front:


And the back:



22) All done! Button it up for presentation. I decided the single thumb print on the back could be used in my favor, so when I folded it up, I made sure that bloody print was proudly displayed front and center.



All told, I think the above map took me a couple hours to make this morning, but I was still experimenting with the process, trying to document the whole thing, and watching my kids. I think if I were focused and following my own instructions now that they're recorded, I could make that map in well under an hour.

If anyone does this, either verbatim or with variations, please post a trip report! Definitely interested in improving the product.

Bad Munki fucked around with this message at 03:08 on Feb 25, 2018

Elector_Nerdlingen
Sep 27, 2004





College Slice

Bad Munki posted:

I wanted to try the butter and baking thing, so I gave it a shot this morning.



My process for that was:
1) Spread a very thin layer of butter on flat paper.
2) crumple the paper into a ball, mostly flatten it back out
3) spread a little more butter on to get caught on the new ridges
4) bake on 200 for a while, decide itís taking too long, turn it up to 350 and just watch it closely
5) after taking it out, give it another crumpling to make the bright wrinkle marks.

Not sure how I feel about it. I like the transparency it gives the paper, and the white stretch marks at the end are cool. Also make the paper feel more brittle, like real parchment. However, I donít really like the golden orange color. I used coffee for my other attempts, it gave it a more brown, dirty look, rather than a nicely browned baked good. Maybe a combination of both, or a brown wash at the end or something. More experimentation is warranted. Oh, also, the white strip across the thing is a heat shadow from the rack, so watch out for that as well.

Huh, mine used to come out way darker and browner than that. I'd usually use margarine and bake it on a tray. I'd also bake at 220-240c, so... uh... 450 or so farenheit?

Mentioned the whole thing to a friend who told me that I missed a step - I'd put it under the grill (broiler?) at the end, after re-crumpling it a bit, which really brought up the lines but also stands a fairly good chance of setting the whole thing alight if you're using a gas oven. I had (and have) a poo poo electric oven, so no problem there.

e: It's probably the paper. I used to do this stuff >20 years ago. At the time I had a dot matrix printer that used tractor paper, so "printer paper" meant something quite different. The slightly shiny, dense, bright white stuff you mostly see these days probably reacts differently.

Elector_Nerdlingen fucked around with this message at 20:05 on Feb 18, 2018

Turtlicious
Sep 17, 2012

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


maaaan i was really hoping you were gonna say, "I just run on down to antique map printer warehouse and get them wholesale for a .25c each."

Bad Munki
Nov 4, 2008

We're all mad here.



Cool, thanks for the extra info. I definitely want to experiment more with it. Soaking the paper in coffee is a bit fiddly as it really wants to dissolve, so if I can get the right colors through the smear+baking approach, thatíd be ideal.

Elector_Nerdlingen
Sep 27, 2004





College Slice

Bad Munki posted:

Cool, thanks for the extra info. I definitely want to experiment more with it. Soaking the paper in coffee is a bit fiddly as it really wants to dissolve, so if I can get the right colors through the smear+baking approach, thatíd be ideal.

Melt the butter first and stir a little bit of coffee into it, maybe? You could then pour or spoon it on to the paper, or wait for it to re-solidify and wipe it on as usual.

I used to do this stuff for a dude who ran weird not-quite-larp "scavenger hunts" in the forest*, so "it disintegrated when grabbed" or "the ink ran and became somewhat illegible" was something that could happen and wouldn't mess things up too bad because of the way the whole thing was set up (ie, practically impossible to get everything).





*e: We'd scout the area and plan a general idea together, I'd write it and make most of the props, we'd set it up together, and he'd run it on the day. Then we'd camp and drink heavily.

Elector_Nerdlingen fucked around with this message at 20:34 on Feb 18, 2018

My Lovely Horse
Aug 21, 2010




I'm running a 4E one-shot for folks new to D&D. As such, it's more of a demonstration/tutorial than any kind of complex story, so I made up a super simple little plot about a remote inn that is besieged by kobolds who have their lair in a nearby ruin and turn out to be minions of a young white dragon. It wrote itself and it's a tight little package and I found a way to move things forward from every obvious thing the party might do and I'm pretty happy with my simple little intro adventure.

Then one of them switched to Cleric and now I feel compelled to shoehorn in some undead just so he gets to show off his sweet turning ability and it messes up the whole simplicity of it.

I dunno. Kobolds locked off a room in the ruins, it's full of skeletons, little detour for a magic item, that sort of thing?

Turtlicious
Sep 17, 2012

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Kobolds find a wand that summon skeletons it's almost out of charges though.

Elector_Nerdlingen
Sep 27, 2004





College Slice

That's great. Give the wand to the boss kobold and have him summon decrepit skeletons instead of whatever minions you've got planned. He panics when it stops working after <number of minions planned> skeletons are summoned, then curses out the dragon for always providing him with poo poo gear.

Megaman's Jockstrap
Jul 16, 2000

What a horrible thread to have a post.


I feel like this works best if the Kobold has an amulet to contact the dragon and there's an Alladin dynamic. Let the kobold talk like Gilbert Godfried and the dragon talk like Jafar.

"HELLO! That WAND you sent me is COMPLETE GARBAGE, what are a bunch of BONES supposed to do against SWORDS AND SHIELDS!??!?!"

SafetyTrain
Nov 26, 2012

Bringing a knife to a bear fight

Kobolds are minions of a bone dragon and come carrying scrolls of animate whatever.

Kobold boss given a strange elixir that turns him into a kobold-ghast with the ability to raise some of his dead friends.

One of the inns guests is a necromancer whose failed attempt to help provides the kobold with some unexpected skeleton allies.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


DO NOT have a wand that summons crap skeletons and have it run out before the party can use it I FORBID IT

Have it cost hit points to use or something, but come on rubbish skeletons.

In fact i'd house rule magic items hard if I was doing 4e again, good system but the items sucked.

AceClown
Sep 11, 2005



My Lovely Horse posted:

I'm running a 4E one-shot for folks new to D&D. As such, it's more of a demonstration/tutorial than any kind of complex story, so I made up a super simple little plot about a remote inn that is besieged by kobolds who have their lair in a nearby ruin and turn out to be minions of a young white dragon. It wrote itself and it's a tight little package and I found a way to move things forward from every obvious thing the party might do and I'm pretty happy with my simple little intro adventure.

Then one of them switched to Cleric and now I feel compelled to shoehorn in some undead just so he gets to show off his sweet turning ability and it messes up the whole simplicity of it.

I dunno. Kobolds locked off a room in the ruins, it's full of skeletons, little detour for a magic item, that sort of thing?

You know when kobolds die they leave behind a skeleton right?...

Just throw in a kobold necromancer that keeps re-animating the kobolds that the non-cleric PC's kill.

Keeshhound
Jan 14, 2010

Mad Duck Swagger


sebmojo posted:

DO NOT have a wand that summons crap skeletons and have it run out before the party can use it I FORBID IT

Have it cost hit points to use or something, but come on rubbish skeletons.

In fact i'd house rule magic items hard if I was doing 4e again, good system but the items sucked.

Instead of a wand, make it a trumpet that when played requires a comically low performance check. If the player fails, they get 1d6 standard 1/4cr skeletons, but if they succeed they get a whole skeletal brass band (how are they playing without lungs? ) who provide a comedic soundtrack to the goings on, but will do nothing else. The kobalds are just that bad at playing it

Whybird
Aug 2, 2009

Phaiston have long avoided the tightly competetive defence sector, but the IRDA Act 2052 has given us the freedom we need to bring out something really special.

https://team-robostar.itch.io/robostar




Nap Ghost

One of the kobolds has been experimenting with necromancy and raised a bunch of her dead companions as skeletons. (They're kobolds, they have tons of dead companions.) Right now, the chief is happy to encourage her studies and use the skeletons as cannon fodder, but he doesn't know that (a) she's got these powers by converting to worship of Orcus (b) the human priest who converted her is still in touch (c) he's guiding her towards consolidating her position and staging a coup so that he can get hold of the dragon's bones and raise himself a badass bonedragon.

Malpais Legate
Oct 1, 2014



Keeshhound posted:

Instead of a wand, make it a trumpet that when played requires a comically low performance check. If the player fails, they get 1d6 standard 1/4cr skeletons, but if they succeed they get a whole skeletal brass band (how are they playing without lungs? ) who provide a comedic soundtrack to the goings on, but will do nothing else. The kobalds are just that bad at playing it

Yes. This one. Just give the kobolds all like a 6 in Charisma or something to really hammer it home.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



Fun Shoe

Counterpoint: That, but it's a mariachi band instead.

AceClown
Sep 11, 2005



disaster pastor
May 1, 2007




Grimey Drawer

Keeshhound posted:

Instead of a wand, make it a trumpet that when played requires a comically low performance check. If the player fails, they get 1d6 standard 1/4cr skeletons, but if they succeed they get a whole skeletal brass band (how are they playing without lungs? ) who provide a comedic soundtrack to the goings on, but will do nothing else. The kobalds are just that bad at playing it

I'm stealing this. I don't know where it's going to go in my campaign, but it will appear.

Polo-Rican
Jul 3, 2004

emptyquote my posts or die

My players are (most likely) reaching a big milestone tonight and I'd be curious if you guys had any cool ideas.

The hook for this adventure was that the players had contracted a mysterious fatal disease. Through a mystic, they learn that the disease comes from a distant and hidden region called Veilant. The entire adventure takes place in Veilant, and while the players have total freedom in what they do, the one constant goal is to eventually find a cure for this disease. (it's the "Princess Mononoke" hook and i highly recommend it!)

There's a lot of backstory to Veilant, but to summarize: a family of aliens arrived here long ago, attempted to interface with the locals, but things went bad, one of them was killed, the father went mad, and now he's in stasis while they wait for more aliens to arrive (in hundreds of years). The father is the one who knows how to cure the disease, because it's alien in origin. He's supposed to be basically godlike in power (these aliens aren't necessarily magical but have really advanced technology that basically makes them appear magical), and he won't be happy about being woken up from stasis early.

After 30 or so sessions the players have found all of the key pieces (basically triforce pieces) required to wake him from stasis. He had these hidden on purpose so he wouldn't be woken early.

I want the father to administer some sort of open-ended "prove that you are worth saving" test. I'd like it if the players could do this however they choose - by battle, through speech, through listing out things they've done in Veilant, etc. But I feel like this might be a bit anticlimactic, especially if the players choose to persuade and roll a high CHA. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

Polo-Rican fucked around with this message at 17:58 on Feb 22, 2018

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


It should be related to the child he lost for sure. He needs justice of some kind, or they need to retrieve something of his child's that's been lost.

Polo-Rican
Jul 3, 2004

emptyquote my posts or die

Comrade Gorbash posted:

It should be related to the child he lost for sure. He needs justice of some kind, or they need to retrieve something of his child's that's been lost.

It's a good idea and I have a feeling the players will attempt to do something along these lines naturally. To flesh this part of the story out more: the dead kid ("Kharfath") fell in love with one of the natives and had a mixed-race kid ("Jopha") who the players have met. To the father ("Medunarar") this was totally, mind-blowingly, unacceptable, and he sent his most reverent and obedient son Sunilamak to deal with the natives; but Sunilamak ended up unintentionally killing Kharfath when he tried to stop the bloodshed. Medunarar has not met the half-blood grandchild.

Polo-Rican fucked around with this message at 18:12 on Feb 22, 2018

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Polo-Rican posted:

I have a feeling the players will figure this out on their own. To flesh this part of the story out more: the dead kid ("Kharfath") fell in love with one of the natives and had a mixed-race kid ("Jopha") who the players have met. To the father ("Medunarar") this was totally, mind-blowingly, unacceptable, and he sent his most reverent and obedient son Sunilamak to deal with the natives; but Sunilamak ended up unintentionally killing Kharfath when he tried to stop the bloodshed.
This seems like an encounter where you don't really need a failure state. It's totally okay to go in knowing the party will succeed. You don't have to tell the players that if you think it'll drain the tension from the moment. But as an adventure arc capstone, give the moment a chance to breath. It doesn't need to be an boss fight to be an epic moment.

I think listing what the PCs have done in Veilant is by far your best choice. You get a recap all the cool things that have happened and that can be incredibly satisfying. They've been at this for 30 sessions, and now they get a chance to look back at the breadth and depth of what they've accomplished and really take that in. It's easy when you're in the middle of it to forget how far you've come. I wouldn't even roll for it - just narrate how hearing about this slowly changes Medunarar's mind.

If you do want to have some mechanical aspect, you can have some additional benefit they're trying to gain that can play into the next arc. You don't have to tell them this ahead of time; just have Medunarar give them an additional boon as thanks for all that they've done.

For that, I'd let each player take a turn telling part of the story, roll something to demonstrate that aspect of it, and then count up total successes. Give the players room to come up with clever alternatives to just rolling a social skill check. If they get enough hits, he hands them an item as a token of appreciation. Not a powerful magic item - something that has personal importance to him. But then I'd figure out a way that item does become important during the next arc.

Whybird
Aug 2, 2009

Phaiston have long avoided the tightly competetive defence sector, but the IRDA Act 2052 has given us the freedom we need to bring out something really special.

https://team-robostar.itch.io/robostar




Nap Ghost

So, if the aliens are godlike in power, how about if instead of listening to their account he makes them relive it? They play through a series of scenes which moments where one of the PCs was at their lowest, and get to explore other ways this might have gone, were circumstances different.

AceClown
Sep 11, 2005



Questions I would ask if I were a player:

- Where are the rest of the family? Specifically the brother who accidentally killed his brother?
- How long has dad been in stasis and what's the time frame for the alien rescue party?
- What's the nature of the dad's madness? I'm guessing either he's going to pissed they locked him up or pissed the players let him out.

For me, the best way to get the cure would be for them to show the dad that the natives aren't a terrible sub species and gain acceptance from the alien race. Maybe have the dad join them on a couple of adventures, if he's stripped of his tech somehow he's not going to be a godlike DMPC (maybe without his tech he's weak as gently caress and the party have to protect him). Have the party encounter things that test concepts such as compassion, humility, justice, tolerance and all those other things that are important in a civilised society.

Lets be honest though, 90% of players are just going to pop the cryo casket and waterboard the gently caress out of dad until he gives up the cure anyway...

kazr
Jan 28, 2005


Can anyone get me the goonmade guide to making better creature stats? I can't seem to find it

Zephirum
Jan 7, 2011



Lipstick Apathy

Hello fellow GMs! I have a hard time boiling down my fancy pants high concept ideas into gameable scenes and encounters. Like Iím trying to take what I want a game to be about, and feeling frustrated actually implementing it. Maybe Iím thinking too linearly about what I want to happen to my players? How can you check if an idea you have lends itself well to being gamified? Or what can I do to expand my ideas into things that allow for more player buy-in?

Polo-Rican
Jul 3, 2004

emptyquote my posts or die

That session already happened, so the advice isn't really needed any longer, but thanks for chiming in everyone! It went well, although there were a few things I intended to do that I totally forgot about in the moment. From now on I'm going to take better notes and keep them in front of me (I keep a lot of notes in one giant document, but that makes it easy for me to forget about notes in the moment if I need to change pages).

AceClown posted:

Questions I would ask if I were a player:
...
For me, the best way to get the cure would be for them to show the dad that the natives aren't a terrible sub species and gain acceptance from the alien race. Maybe have the dad join them on a couple of adventures, if he's stripped of his tech somehow he's not going to be a godlike DMPC (maybe without his tech he's weak as gently caress and the party have to protect him). Have the party encounter things that test concepts such as compassion, humility, justice, tolerance and all those other things that are important in a civilised society.

Lets be honest though, 90% of players are just going to pop the cryo casket and waterboard the gently caress out of dad until he gives up the cure anyway...

All of your questions have already been answered in-game: I didn't want to leave a massive wall of text in this thread so i left a lot out of my original post. What you recommended is pretty much what happened: the players recounted their adventures and proved that they weren't a sub-race. The father didn't join them on adventures, but one of the sons has been with them for a day or two after they rescued him and convinced him to help them out.

Whybird posted:

So, if the aliens are godlike in power, how about if instead of listening to their account he makes them relive it? They play through a series of scenes which moments where one of the PCs was at their lowest, and get to explore other ways this might have gone, were circumstances different.

This is a really good idea and I wish I'd heard it sooner! I might use it in the future. I like this because there are inevitably encounters where players go "oh, in retrospect, I don't know why we did [thing]"... and as a GM there are encounters where I go "oh poo poo, in retrospect, I should have done [thing]"... this would be a good way to correct those regrets.

Polo-Rican
Jul 3, 2004

emptyquote my posts or die


Jesus dude, this is really good.

Nephzinho
Jan 24, 2008




kazr posted:

Can anyone get me the goonmade guide to making better creature stats? I can't seem to find it

https://songoftheblade.wordpress.co...dd-5th-edition/

That what you're talking about?

Pyrus Malus
Nov 22, 2007
APPLES

I'm running a Ravenloft campaign in 3.5 for a table I've been at for about a year. Everyone is pretty comfortable with one another, and I've got a semi-decent grasp on what I want to plug into the world, but I'd love any advice, words of caution, etc about the setting itself.

We ran 5e's Curse of Strahd last year so I sort of have an idea of what we're getting into, but the fact that Ravenloft isn't just a single module but a setting that relies on a lot of that tasty gothic flavor definitely makes me feel a little intimidated.

If this was too vague a question, just gimme your best Ravenloft stories.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Zephirum posted:

Hello fellow GMs! I have a hard time boiling down my fancy pants high concept ideas into gameable scenes and encounters. Like Iím trying to take what I want a game to be about, and feeling frustrated actually implementing it. Maybe Iím thinking too linearly about what I want to happen to my players? How can you check if an idea you have lends itself well to being gamified? Or what can I do to expand my ideas into things that allow for more player buy-in?

We need more deets, what are your ideas, why cant you gamify it?

Bad Munki
Nov 4, 2008

We're all mad here.



Whybird posted:

Have you considered making props for festival LARP games? There are a couple I know of that'd kill to have someone like you creating stuff that they can give out to their players.

Hey, I was going to say, you can PM or email me about this if you want. Iím on gmail as gshort2.

kazr
Jan 28, 2005



Yes, thank you

8one6
May 20, 2012

When in doubt, err on the side of Awesome!



Grimey Drawer

Zephirum posted:

Hello fellow GMs! I have a hard time boiling down my fancy pants high concept ideas into gameable scenes and encounters. Like Iím trying to take what I want a game to be about, and feeling frustrated actually implementing it. Maybe Iím thinking too linearly about what I want to happen to my players? How can you check if an idea you have lends itself well to being gamified? Or what can I do to expand my ideas into things that allow for more player buy-in?

Tell us the ideas. We can help you turn it into a game. Also...

quote:

Like Iím trying to take what I want a game to be about, and feeling frustrated actually implementing it
... don't be surprised when this either a) goes over the heads of your players, b) they ignore it, or c) they just don't care.

Also I can guarantee that this...

quote:

...Maybe Iím thinking too linearly about what I want to happen to my players...
... is likely a big part of your frustrations.

Don't start a game planning it out like a novel. If you need to plan out stuff ahead of time think in terms of general outlines ("the king is a dick and that's why the kingdom sucks in ways X, Y, and Z...") or maybe plan out in vague flowcharts ("Did they pick up badguy clue X? If yes then Y, if no then Z..."). That's al basic GMing stuff, we can give you more specific help if you let us know what you're thinking.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Start with the vibe and make sure your players are on board. Never bait and switch, even where you think its going to work it never does. Start with a small, clear goal, and pay attention to what elements or npcs your players are interested in, and expand those. Once you are a couple of sessions in decide who your antagonists are, what dastardly thing they want, and how it will impact the players. This is where your theming comes in, but it should be a partnership with your players.

Nephzinho
Jan 24, 2008




I'm working on a one shot with level 11 players in 5e, mostly for people who haven't played DND/don't play much/haven't in a long time. In order to skip over character creation and get right into it I'm going to have a bunch of character sheets for people to pick from. Before I start shooting things out from my own past games and fastcharactermaker, anyone have any interesting level 11 sheets to send over?

Ysengrin
Feb 13, 2012


Also ways to minimize your frustrations: if you plan out cool set pieces that your players ignore... just quietly move them to the new place they're going to. Like, no one needs to know the map and encounter you designed was originally for the snake temple they skipped, and now you've just re-flavored them to be a pirate's headquarters because they decided it'd be rad to go on high seas adventures. Also as a bonus, it seems these pirates are using an old temple overgrown with jungle vines as their base, what neat flavor!

Basically, for plot stuff you should go for the general overarching stuff and know just enough to wing it in case someone derails, and mechanically you can prepare whatever you like as long as you leave it open enough for you to reskin as needed. If you've got clues that players are supposed to follow to lead to a place, just invent new clues if they go off the rails, or if winging it like that is difficult come up with a set of generic clues that you can insert wherever in case it comes up.

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sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Slyflourish.com has a lot of good stuff about being a lazy dm:


quote:

Connect the Characters

During character selection or creation, have each player describe their character and how they are connected to another character. For example, each player can go around the table and describe how they are connected to or indebted to the character on their left. This can become part of the characters' bonds. You can read more about this idea in our D&D 5e Bonds Based On Fiasco-Style Relationships article.

Prepare to Improvise

Don't overplan your adventure or expect it to go one certain way. Prepare to improvisewhile the game is going on. Digging into the experiences of thousands of dungeon masters revealed that the ability to improvise is the most useful DM skill we DMs can cultivate.

For a simple and helpful improvisation tool, curate and print out some random namesyou can quickly refer to when the characters meet an NPC you haven't prepared.

Instead of building plots and stories, set up situations and let the characters navigate the situation. Put yourself in the shoes of the monsters, villains, and NPCs and have them react as they would given the actions of the characters.

Use Your Players' Ideas

Rookie and veteran DMs alike often make the mistake of believing they control the game's direction. Instead, remember that you and your players create the story together at the game table. The more you accept the input of your players and let it guide the direction of the story, the more interesting the story will be for both you and your players. Build the story from what the players give you during the game.

The game is all about the characters and what they do. Focus the spotlight on the characters. Give them situations to look awesome. Revel in their creative ideas. Say yes. When the players roll really poorly on a skill check, think about the cool situation or tight spot this puts them in instead of just having them "fail". Be fans of the characters.

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