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Monday, September 16, 2013

Syncretizing Gaming Best Practices


I am attempting to syncretize a collection of GM touchpoints from my collection of RPGs and gaming articles. There are so many good resources out there, and I feel I'm swimming in a sea filled with numerous currents, pulled in many directions. I'm hoping to compile a guidance document to bolster my gaming.

This is probably just a fraction of the potential best practices to be gleaned from these games or resources, and I certainly have more items that I could trawl for gems. Some of these do have some bearing on the rules or character creation, it is true, but my ideal is to have a system-neutral skeleton that works for me.



System

Technique

Notes

At any time, if any person involved in the game becomes uncomfortable, they can tap or pick up the X card and the thing in progress will stop – no questions asked, no explanations required.
Dread
The TowerProvide a player with a graceful way out of a game; provide a benefit to the players remaining
Apocalypse World (and other *World offerings)
Fronts, PC-NPC-PC Triangles; Countdown clock; streamlined character sheet
Generate conflict between PCs; get characters up and running quickly
Fate
Aspects, Compels
Punch the player in the Aspects
Lazy Dungeon Master
Numerous shortcuts

3-Line NPCs
  • Line 1: What the players can see: NPC appearance and what the NPC is doing at the moment they meet
  • Line 2: What to portray: What the NPC does for a living and personality
  • Line 3: How to progress the story: Adventure or encounter hook












  • Introduce an NPC Every Session
  • Whack an NPC Every Session
  • Think Like/Portray/Impersonate the NPC
  • Crunch Out NPCs While You GM (using a standard array of stat bonuses)
  • 3x3 Method
    Relationship Mapping

    Location Description Template
    • Room Type/ Environment/ Status;
    • Obvious Elements/ Subtle Elements/ Hidden Elements/ Backstory Elements
    important "clue" elements in each list could be highlighted
    How to build a Villain, by Jim Butcher
    Villains need: a Motivation, some Power, some Admirable Qualities, and Individuality

    Jim Butcher’s Writing Advice

    1. Opening
    2. Big Middle
    3. End
    Character Development: Exaggeration, Exotic position, Introduction, CHARACTERISTIC ENTRY ACTION, Verisimilitude, Tags, Traits

    Three Clue Rule
    Permissive Clue Finding

    GUMSHOE
    Automatic clues; spend for better clues; Drives

    Hamlet’s Hit Points
    Tracking story beats

    Stealing Cthulhu
    Switching up tropes, monsters, and motivations

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