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Introductions

Fra

New member
Wizard of Story
Hi, everyone!

My name is Francesco and I come from Italy.

I have been playing for something like 17 years, and I was that one friend that wanted to play so much that was always available to take the role of DM (because nobody else wanted, the fools!)

I am currently running two games, both set in Ravnica, which I find a very interesting and challenging setting.

I want to send some love to the d8, which seems to be less liked than the others.
 

Stephan Hornick

Community Goblin & Master of the Archive
Staff member
Platinum WoA
Wizard of Story
Wizard of Combat
Borderland Explorer
Welcome, Francesco!
And congratulations on becoming the DM for your players.
What is "Ravnica"?
 

Fra

New member
Wizard of Story
Welcome, Francesco!
And congratulations on becoming the DM for your players.
What is "Ravnica"?

Hi Stephan!

Ravnica is a D&D (5e) setting that Wizards of the Coast has adapted from a very successful "Magic - The Gathering" set from 2005.
It's a plane completely covered by a huge city (Ravnica), controlled by ten guilds that coexist in a precarious balance of power.
It's a high-fantasy setting with turn of the century magic/technology and a predominant gothic-like architecture (although the city is so vast and influenced by the different guilds/cultures that you can find any type of architecture here and there).
Each guild is very well fleshed out in the book "Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica"; they all have very strong "personalities", and offer specific benefits (and duties) to those who are enrolled.
I love the ten guilds because they give me a very easy time coming up with credible NPCs with clear goals, and the interactions are so tense that it's always a joy to see what my players will do and say in front of this or that villainous (or not) character.
Also, it's a completely urban setting, which I personally find extra challenging, but it's so vast that it offers a lot of space for "natural" environments and more classic adventures types.

I hope I have intrigued you!
 

ExileInParadise

RPG Therapist
Staff member
Platinum WoA
Gold WoA
Wizard of Story
I have been playing for something like 17 years, and I was that one friend that wanted to play so much that was always available to take the role of DM (because nobody else wanted, the fools!)

Yeah, based on that part in bold, I think there might have been some pre-existing condition or underlying complication that ended up with you in the GM chair =)
 

Fra

New member
Wizard of Story
Yeah, based on that part in bold, I think there might have been some pre-existing condition or underlying complication that ended up with you in the GM chair =)
Yeah, I guess you might be right... 14 years old me and his friends were troubled human beings :D
 

CrocodileFundee

Member
Platinum WoA
Gold WoA
Wizard of Story
Hi everybody,

My name is Kevin and I have been playing TTRPGs for about 12 or so years. Mostly DnD 5th edition but have been enjoying getting to know other systems like Blades in the Dark/Scum and Villany, Call of Cthulhu, Mothership, Beak Feather and Bone, The Artifact, Forbidden Lands, 1000 Year Old Vampire, Dungeon World, FATE, Mork Borg. I enjoy listening to a few TTRPG podcasts like Critical Role, Friends at the Table, Adventure Zone and my friends and I have been doing our own for 2+yrs called Encounter Time.

I have never GMed/DMed before but feel like it could be fun and have been wanting to try for a while. When role-playing, I really enjoy coming up with creative solutions to problems if possible (unorthodox spell use can often be fun), but the idea of creating an entire world/campaign seems a bit too big to wrap my head around. I hope to use Johnn's course and materials to give me a framework of how to come up with neat big picture settings with fun plot hooks but while still letting PCs "play to find out what happens".

2020 was a heckuva year so I hope folks here are doing well overall. Good vibes to all!
 

ExileInParadise

RPG Therapist
Staff member
Platinum WoA
Gold WoA
Wizard of Story
I have never GMed/DMed before but feel like it could be fun and have been wanting to try for a while. When role-playing, I really enjoy coming up with creative solutions to problems if possible (unorthodox spell use can often be fun), but the idea of creating an entire world/campaign seems a bit too big to wrap my head around. I hope to use Johnn's course and materials to give me a framework of how to come up with neat big picture settings with fun plot hooks but while still letting PCs "play to find out what happens".

Welcome to the fray!

Personally, I feel that if you never GM an RPG, you've only ever played half the game - so congrats on being interested in playing the whole game.

I guess the best place to start is with your concern about creating a world/campaign... don't stress on this - it's really a bunch of fun and where much of the fun of being a GM can come from.

In the 1970's there were not much in the way of premade worlds, so every would-be GM started from scratch anyway - that's just how it was.
The process seemed to go like this:
* take a big sheet of blank paper
* draw a jaggedy outline of a "continent" on it
* draw in some cool islands around it
* add some rivers, mountains with foothills, forests, and deserts.
* smack down where the elves, halflings, dwarves, and humans were.
The rest is secret ruins full of monsters and treasure.
Game on!

So, that's not so tough right?

Then you learn ...
I shoulda used HEXPAPER for my map!
I need a starting town with a town map so characters have a place to spend money and buy stuff and find the next adventure...
Graph paper does not come in packs with enough sheets, ever.
Wait... who RUNS this place?
Oh, now its winter in the world - how does the map change?

On and on you build and refine as you need, getting more and more detailed as you AND your players explore the foggy outline you created.

Now, doesn't that sound like something in need of a game of its own?
You're in luck - Dawn of Worlds is exactly that - a game where you and your players build the world to roleplay in.
http://clanwebsite.org/games/rpg/Dawn_of_Worlds_game_1_0Final.pdf

Give that a read and see if it gives you some inspiration on how to build your own world - even as a solo game if you create a "pantheon" of 6-8 fictitious deities with different domains and then roleplay as them shaping the world in their preferences...

And yes, the courses here are extremely useful how-tos for world building, in disguise.
Faster Combat is focused mainly on efficient combat scenes, but includes tips on how combats integrate to the wider setting and how to take advantage of that.

Adventure Building Workshop (ADV) covers the core of campaign building as *part* of defining the background setting for a huge adventure build ... focus on the home base, sandbox, and hexcrawl lessons from about lesson 23 on for the campaign tools which wrap around the adventure building in lessons 1-22 or so.

The Wizard of Adventure / Adventure Building Master Game Plan (ADVII) interweaves a LOT of world building how-to with campaign and adventure building ... on the fly. So, you don't start out building all of the campaign pieces, you start out with the seeds to build them from... as needed.

And, don't forget to mine the Roleplaying Tips archive at https://www.roleplayingtips.com/archives/ for tons of advice on GMing, villains, NPCs, monsters, treasure, magic and all of the other bits and bobs for GMing.

So... welcome!
 

Butcher of Blackhall

New member
Platinum WoA
Gold WoA
Wizard of Story
Hi everybody.
My name is Matt, I live in Vancouver and I play D&D back in the 90s and am back at it again.
Still DMing 3.5e although I started with 2e in forgotten realms and Birthright.
Now I'm building my own world for a few friends. Also thinking about a small westmarches style game with the players that are less story driven/time committed.
 

ExileInParadise

RPG Therapist
Staff member
Platinum WoA
Gold WoA
Wizard of Story
Hi everybody.
My name is Matt, I live in Vancouver and I play D&D back in the 90s and am back at it again.
Still DMing 3.5e although I started with 2e in forgotten realms and Birthright.
Now I'm building my own world for a few friends. Also thinking about a small westmarches style game with the players that are less story driven/time committed.

Howdy and welcome!
Building your own world after playing in Forgotten Realms a while can seem pretty daunting...
A really good list of design questions to think through is Patricia Wreade's worldbuilding questions for authors:
https://pcwrede.com/pcw-wp/fantasy-worldbuilding-questions/

Take a question a day, and ask it for each of the major groups in your world map, and before long you'll have a world as dense and intricate as Forgotten Realms - except you know it =)

And then you also have tons and tons of roleplay seed for your Westmarches style sandbox - you are just leaving it to the players to wander / blunder into your various cultures as they see fit!
 
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Butcher of Blackhall

New member
Platinum WoA
Gold WoA
Wizard of Story
Howdy and welcome!
Building your own world after playing in Forgotten Realms a while can seem pretty daunting...
A really good list of design questions to think through is Patricia Wreade's worldbuilding questions for authors:
https://pcwrede.com/pcw-wp/fantasy-worldbuilding-questions/

Take a question a day, and ask it for each of the major groups in your world map, and before long you'll have a world as dense and intricate as Forgotten Realms - except you know it =)

And then you also have tons and tons of roleplay seed for your Westmarches style sandbox - you are just leaving it to the players to wander / blunder into your various cultures as they see fit!

Thanks for the link. I have a lot of ideas in google sheets, on pieces of paper and in my head. Totally disorganized. It will be good to have some structured questions for things I don't think about.
 

ExileInParadise

RPG Therapist
Staff member
Platinum WoA
Gold WoA
Wizard of Story
Thanks for the link. I have a lot of ideas in google sheets, on pieces of paper and in my head. Totally disorganized. It will be good to have some structured questions for things I don't think about.

Take a look at the Joplin notebook application - it's like Evernote, but you can use it with a number of file-sharing services like Dropbox, Onedrive, etc to sync notes from device to device.
 

Toasty

Member
Platinum WoA
Gold WoA
Silver WoA
Wizard of Story
Hi Everyone! I'm Toasty; I started playing D&D back in the late 70s, but stopped playing in the late 80s, and then got back into it again last year. I'd been playing D&D5e, but frankly I'm not very satisfied with it, and then I found HarnMaster, and I really enjoy it. I have recently started a new campaign where we all play online every other week. The first session was a huge hit, but now I am panicking because I don't really have a cohesive campaign idea. My players are not really interested in combat, and their characters are not designed for combat, so I can't just throw a bunch of monsters at them.

I'm taking the WoA tutorials, and I'm trying to figure out how to build the airplane while I'm in flight!
 

Stephan Hornick

Community Goblin & Master of the Archive
Staff member
Platinum WoA
Wizard of Story
Wizard of Combat
Borderland Explorer
Hi Everyone! I'm Toasty; I started playing D&D back in the late 70s, but stopped playing in the late 80s, and then got back into it again last year. I'd been playing D&D5e, but frankly I'm not very satisfied with it, and then I found HarnMaster, and I really enjoy it. I have recently started a new campaign where we all play online every other week. The first session was a huge hit, but now I am panicking because I don't really have a cohesive campaign idea. My players are not really interested in combat, and their characters are not designed for combat, so I can't just throw a bunch of monsters at them.

I'm taking the WoA tutorials, and I'm trying to figure out how to build the airplane while I'm in flight!
Welcome, Toasty! Congratulations on finding Hârnmaster. I'm a great fan. It was a great system when I was young and it probably still is.
I don't think you need a cohesive campaign idea right from the start. There are several GMs out there (and here) who use the first sessions for a general overview of what the players and GM would like to do. First important steps are to make the individual PCs into a group of PCs, maybe introduce some NPCs who later could become valuable or enemies, and to set the mood and genre of the adventures. Just ask yourself (and your players) what you/they enjoy. Here is a concise list of genres and scenarios (my favorites) and here an explanation on how to create mood (especially helpful is Johnn's link there).
 

JohnnFour

Game Master
Staff member
Platinum WoA
Gold WoA
Wizard of Story
Wizard of Combat
Gamer Lifestyle
Demonplague Author
Borderland Explorer
Welcome @Toasty! I know exactly how you feel because it describes the last few campaigns I've run.

My solution is the Campaign Plotline. It can start wherever your game is currently at and give you a clear path forward.

And then your goal is to Loop as many existing meaningful details into your Campaign Plotline and Adventure Plotlines as possible.

Orphan details can be resolved with "one-shot" encounters or 5RDs (like they do on TV when they have to suddenly write a character out). Though, I tend to just list my Orphans in Campaign Logger as *"Encounter Ideas" and keep my eyes open for how to make them cool Loops as the campaign plays out.

Still, it's uncomfortable not having a plan. So I recommend watching the Campaign Plotline stuff and trying it out. The clarity you get helps, in my experience.
 

ExileInParadise

RPG Therapist
Staff member
Platinum WoA
Gold WoA
Wizard of Story
Hello there!

I'm Dan Danilenko aka ungooglable. Playing and running (D&D and) all sorts of rule-lites since 1994. My favorite dice are :
View attachment 1010

Welcome, Dan!

Love the dice choice -- those look really nice like that.

Over the years I've gone through systems all across the gamut from diceless, GM-less, and rules-lite to ultra-simulationist crunch.

As I get older, I find myself gravitating more toward rules-lite, abstract systems to increase focus on story and hand over the simulation more to the computer.

But I think my favorite aspect of "lite" versions of games, even commercial ones, are that the companies give them away.

For a tabletop on a budget, this let's many players get into a game and only one, usually the GM, have to take the +5 hit to the wallet that many games swing now - yet everyone gets their own lite copy of the game to start with.

So, here's the 64 g.p. question - if you could only have *one* rules-lite system with you on a desert island - which would you choose?

I got asked this one time about Traveller RPG - which I am an avid collector of and have at least the core of every version of on my bookcase... but then I got pinned with which one would I have over all?

Was a great way to focus on what I was really after, and despite my love (for various reasons) of different versions... I ended up figuring out that The Traveller Book would be the single version I would have on the desert island.

Nowadays, I'd just bring my own RPG which I've been building from scratch the past 5 years - but ... there you go... what would be your penultimate game to have and play if "there could be only one?"

And again... welcome!
 

ungooglable

Member
Wizard of Story
. what would be your penultimate game to have and play if "there could be only one?"

And again... welcome!

As a rule-lite fan I had a hard time imaging there could be only one ;-)

The best thing about rule-lites is they are always with you. What is known can't be unknown

That being said it's Fudge. It's quite terrible system and unwieldy.... but. Fudge is highly customizable it's a ton of different games, including Fate
 
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