Sunday, June 27, 2010

Diligently Working

Since the return of my internet I have gone full out discovering things I'm surprised to say I didn't actually think existed. These two websites however are geared towards Game Masters, so feel free to check 'em out and maybe sign up for them... unless you're a player of mine. Sorry boys, the Gnome Stew is fine for you guys, but the forum is going to give too much away in future games.

This is a blog called Gnome Stew created by Game Master's for Game Masters. In one day it gave me about 50 great tips that I assure you I will be using in my future games.

And the Forum,
This forum is apparently run by many of the same people who write Gnome Stew. It's a Forum where Game Master's can go and feel safe to talk about what's going on in their games (which is why my players can't go there, sorry again guys). A place where one GM can ask a question and get answers from thousands of other GM's. I highly encourage any GM whether brand spankin' new or old as the forest I live in to at least visit this forum, and hopefully join.

Both sites are totally free and very helpful. They give tips on almost any traditional campaign and you can ask for help in any personal campaigns.

On another note, aiming more towards why I titled this post "Diligently Working", I've been hard at work on my games lately. Re-visited a bunch of my older games and started up the long laborious (but still fun) process of fixing all the bugs in them. For instance, since we're still not playing the Steambike game I've been trying hard to make a new map for it. The Arizona map is fine and all, but I just don't like the idea that all the players grew up in AZ. I just know that one of them will try to correct me on where a city is located or when exactly the sun rises. So seeing as how I just signed up for that Forum I thought I'd give 'em a shot and see what advice they have for me when it comes to this map problem I now have. You see (as I just posted in the Forum) I keep trying to draw my own, but I don't like how they come out looking.

I can draw, but you might be surprised to find that drawing a freeway system for a state the size of AZ is harder than it sounds. I even tried writing city names on posted notes which I posted on the floor in the order I liked, and then laid down tape for roads between the cities. This is a great way to make a map by the way. However, the outcome looked like a normal map, not a freeway system. Freeways are a bit more unpredictable than normal streets, they have to be carefully planned around pre-existing buildings and roads while still being the most straight shot way to get to anywhere in the general area. Freeways have curves but less than the average street, and they have plenty of loops like clovers,but these clovers aren't necessary unless they lead to another road.

Like I said, we'll find out what the forum members have in store for me, but in the meantime I'm still thinking hard. Never let others solve your problem for you, you can ask for advice or a little help from someone who may have already had the problem before, but it's your game and that makes it your problem. For instance since posting on the forum I've started to think that maybe I'll just start my players in one city on foot or something, and when they get to their bikes and then to the open road, I'll sorta make up a map as we go. This of course requires them to be in a party, which isn't my normal style of game play. I also posted this earlier on Gnome Stew but I'm the kind of Game Master who starts all his players off waking up in completely different spots than the other players. So party games aren't my specialty.I'm also thinking of maybe looking for another map on Google maps. Not that I haven't tried this already, but I definitely haven't looked at them all yet.

By the way! I was just thinking about this old trick I used to pull when I still wasn't very confident about my map drawing skills. Just start the players without the map and with very little geographic common knowledge. By the time you figure out a map, you can let them find one in game. It works great because most game creators use fake worlds and made up places, so the characters know just as much as the players do.

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