Friday, September 12, 2014

The Evil GM - Encumbrance, do you keep track?


In all editions of all games there is always a rule about encumbrance, defining how much a character can carry on himself before it slows him down or puts a strain on things they would normally be able to do with no issues.

Players will (if the DM allows it) turn their character into little hoarders, pocketing anything and everything they can get their hands on. Hey, you never know when you will need something, right?

Normally I am not a hard-ass when it comes to keeping track or enforcing it. I will within reason say things like.."Well, I will let you carry.. X and Y, but you will be a little bogged down."

I also am upfront to my players, telling them I am very laid back and will always make sure fun ensues over a rule, and will make judgement calls on the fly to keep the action going.

With that said, when it comes to encumbrance, I tell my players there is a reasonable amount and I will let them know if its too much, which they are fine with. I also tell them, if this is not acceptable then we need to find a new method or please jot down how much weight things are, keeping track of everything so it remains true to the rules. I haven't had one player want to do that.

Face it we are in the game to have a good time and if people don't enjoy sitting around being the accounts the game wants, its always fun to have a DM just kind of waive a hand.

Now with that said, there are some people that love to play with numbers, keeping track and playing it as real as possible, which is cool too. To each their own I say.

What method do you fall towards and how do you handle it in your games?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Evil GM - 9/11 Never forget.


Today is 9/11.

We all remember what happened. 

We all remember what we were doing that very day.

You can never forget.

I will never forget how I lost a family member that day. I lost my Aunt.

She was a wonderful and kind person, who taught me a lot when it came to computers. She was tech savvy, and had a keen eye for things.

What hurts me the most, was the reason she was in that situation was because of me. 

I was offered a job to do desk-side technical support for Goldman Sachs, which was located in the towers.

I declined that job for some odd reason, but referred them to my Aunt who had just recently ended a contractor job. She took this job.

So I wasn't going to post this or anything about it, but +Erik Tenkar 's posting about 9/11 inspired me to get on here and dedicate a post to her.

The Evil GM - TPK, OH NO! It happens!


You've been in a great adventure, things are looking up, your character has made it past level 1, level 2 and finally made it into level 3, where he is a bit more stable. Suddenly the DM is throwing different monsters at you, the rewards are getting bigger and you decide that its time to take a few more risks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Evil GM - Oh no, that magic item... SIGH.


Sometimes in a game we as the DM will design these awesome looking magical items and they look great on paper, but when we give them out during game play we often regret giving them out. Sometimes these items are just killers for a campaign or maybe that one adventure you designed up for the night. 

You also know the player will make sure his character holds on to it like its gold, knowing that he has an "edge" on things. 

I've seen plenty of DMs who will try to take it back from the character by throwing all these monsters or even find a way for someone to steal it with a "no chance you will catch him" scenario. I had a person like that, he would give us these awesome weapons one week, and then see what havoc it caused to his game and suddenly took them away the next week. It came down to the point we just started writing things on a sheet of scratch paper to toss in the trash because we knew it was going away. Did we talk to him? Yes, did he stop? Nope.

I've also seen some DMs who will just go with it and watch the wonderful campaign he has created crumble and fall apart due to this mistake. I've seen this mostly at convention plays and some local gaming store groups. The DM just goes with the mistake and tries to ignore it, hoping the player will come to his senses. 

In this situation I would talk to the player on the side and let him know of the mistake, and ask him  to kindly give it up, and maybe offer him up something a bit different in exchange. Most players will take the offer knowing that it will help the game play and the story for the DM as well as keep the fun rolling for the group. Face it, we've all been in at least one game where one character get this super awesome thing and destroys all. Its kind boring for everyone else.

As the DM, do you have the right to "clean up your mess" or "let the cards fall where they may?"


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Evil GM - No Show, NO XP! But I'm falling behind!


Now we all know life happens. We all love the game, but sometimes real life prevents us from gaming, and it just can't be helped. You want to play, you really do, but you seem to miss every third game or maybe you miss 2 games in a row as the rest of your friends are able to make it each game with little to no issues. You hate to keep doing it, but crap happens. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Evil GM - The no show player, what to do?


I am sure all of you have had this happen to you at one point or another as a DM or as a part of a group you play in. Most groups play once a week, some play more depending on how much time everyone has to get together. Some groups get together even less, maybe twice in a month or once a month might be the amount of time they can spare for gaming. Hey whatever it is, its sure to be the night you are most looking forward to doing. Who goes to gaming night saying, "Oh damn, its time to game.. I hate this.."

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Evil GM - The Disinterested player, what to do?


We've all seen it as a DM, sitting there at the table, one player not paying attention. You might not think anything of it and keep things going thinking maybe the person is just distracted today. But as the game goes on, you see that you really have to draw this person's attention and they are not willingly contributing to anything.

The Evil GM - Sexy COSPLAY Friday

The best Lady Death I've EVER Seen. Man I love that Comic.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Evil GM - What to do with players, who make dumb moves..


Most people say that Advanced Dungeons and Dragons first edition is all about paranoia and a DM getting the upper hand on his players, punishing them. Well I believe it all depends on the person running the game, a good DM will drive a story first before pounding his players into the ground.

The real question here is, what do you do with players (experienced ones, not newbies) who decide to make that stupid move, not once, not twice, but three times? Do you just wave the hand (and roll your eyes), allowing him/her to move along or do you just let the dice do the job?

For example, we have a party going into a underground temple, where it's been abandoned for years. The party has been exploring it for better part of the day, finding weird traps, and deadly monsters left and right. The party decides they found a nice safe room to bed down for the night and each person decides to take a watch to guard the door of this safe room they found. During one character's watch, he decides his Magic User will get up and explore down the hall from the room where the party is sleeping. He does not notify the group at all.

Now as the DM, I rolled to see if any of the other party members heard him open and close the door only to be fair to the group. They did not and the character was able to slip down the hall and meet up a random patrol of 6 orcs and his death. The player found this unfair and yelled. The group sided with me saying that was pretty stupid to do that, and he deserved whatever happened to him.

My question to everyone is what would you do? Should you as a the DM allow a character to run off like that and screw around or stick to the rules and roll random encounters following the guidelines set forth by the module or your adventure standards?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Evil GM - Getting back into that game you used to play..


Back when we were kids in the '80s, gaming was a big mystery, and picking up a new game that peaked your interest was happening almost every time you went into a gaming store. Which resulted in playing a new games for weeks upon weeks, until we got bored and someone found a new game to play. Then we would always cycle back into other games and the whole thing moved on again. It was easy. Some people continued playing games the rest of their life, while others stopped during/after high school and then at some point later in their life, watched a movie, read a book or just start chatting with someone about playing games, and the itch to play returns. Before the internet, this was not that easy to just jump back into the games you loved as a kid. The only thing you had to go on, was the local gaming store, and hope you found some people nice enough to help you (which people did).

These days, its very easy to get back into that old game you used to love with the internet and social media. Basically, now if you are even interested in a game, you can do a quick Google search on the game, and then start reading away. After you are done reading, you can join a forum where like minded people play the game still and chat about it. From there you can expand out, listening to podcasts of how people play or handle the game you are interested in. The only thing stopping you from getting back into your love of the game, is you.

My suggestions to getting back into a game you used to love is that first things first, buy and read the main book(s). Jot down things that do not make sense to your mind, and then Google those things, you might come up with answers to those questions. Next you could take those questions to the forums or podcasts you've found. From there you can start jotting down more notes, even start your own blog to explore your learning process as you progress. Gamers love to help new gamers learn their game. Why? because it keeps the games alive!

What are you thoughts about helping someone or getting back into a game you haven't played in a while?