James answers three listener questions in one episode! Gain insights on stronger performance and portraying ambivalence, co-GMing, and intrigue based role play systems.
John Harper is responsible for some of the most fun and influential micro systems on the internet. With games like Lasers and Feelings, Lady Blackbird, and Ghost Echo in his portfolio Harper is the king of micro games. In this discussion James and John discuss Johns approach to gaming, his design philosophy, loosen the definition of “game designer,” and fix everything.
What do you do when your party doesn’t follow your plot?
James discusses the art of voicing characters. This episode has improv techniques for developing character voices, advice on how to fudge certain voices you can’t do, and the secret to good voice work.
This week live from CODcon James invites Kat Murphy and Jim Hepplewhite on the show to discuss customizing monsters thanks to a question from Jeff Chaffe @infocorn on twitter.
What separates basic play from role-playing art? For game masters it is almost always a question of atmosphere. In this episode James teaches aspiring DMs how to create and maintain atmosphere. He also gives some tips for hardened grognards looking for ways to better describe their locations.
Parting with the usual format, James sits down with Senior Editor of Forbes Magazine and author of “Of Dice and Men” David M. Ewalt to discuss David experience running his very first campaign. Their conversations spans world building, session prep, improvisation, and how to incorporate lessons learned in other systems into your main campaign.
A couple years ago I DM’d for the first time for a game with my girlfriend (now wife) my friend Matt and his wife and a couple of our female friends. Other than myself and Matt, no one else had ever played D&D. Though I think they kind of liked it, it was very difficult to get them to attempt to role play (my wife later said she just didn’t know what to do.
James answers a listener’s question – “Over the past year I have gotten back into DMing for a group of players, after an almost 10 year hiatus from tabletop rpgs I have come to realize that I am not as skilled as I once thought. I have found that I tend to not give the players quite enough information. How should I go about giving the players enough information to act on but not so much that it either overwhelms them or removes the goal? Where do I draw that line?”
This week James continues his thoughts on how to approach picking a system to run your game. Lots of players have preferences for rules heavy systems or abstract rules light systems. What sort of effect does this have on the game? And why do we have rules to begin with?