Archive | May 2017

Game Master Diaries #2: Building Character(s)

Now that we have the setting figured out, it is time to tackle the most important part of any story: the characters. In an RPG, unlike most other forms of storytelling, the characters are not controlled by one person. That is the challenge and beauty of this collaborative way to tell stories. Each person brings a unique voice to the story and each character will be different, depending on who the player controlling that character is. Getting a good balance between interesting, dynamic player characters who have their own needs, wants, and dreams, colorful, engaging NPCs who are fun to interact with, but don’t steal the spotlight from the players too much, and a satisfying story that doesn’t feel like it’s dragging, derailing, or forcing the players along can be quite a challenge. When you do manage to strike that balance, though, it is one of the most fun and fulfilling ways to tell a story with your friends. The key to finding that balance all comes down to the way you go about creating the characters and how you involve your players in the game. Read More…

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Step Into the Echo Chamber: Social Media, the Internet, Identity, and Purpose

For a while now I’ve been meaning to write about the echo chamber that social media has become, but I was lacking a point. It seemed kind of silly to write about social media being an echo chamber and then throw that thought out into the even larger echo chamber of the internet. Recently, however, I have been thinking about the reasons behind why we do things, and how they shape our views of ourselves and the world, and I knew that the two concepts were related. So here is my two cents on the phenomenon of social media and how it affects us as people. Read More…

Game Master Diaries #1.5: My Setting

As I promised on Friday, today I am going to give you a more in-depth description of the setting for my game. I’m not going to talk shop, since I did way too much of that last time. Instead, this is just going to be the background of the adventure as I would put it if I were writing the story as a book. Let’s do it. Read More…

Game Master Diaries #1: Setting up the Story

Welcome to part one of my multi-part series about one of my favorite kinds of storytelling: being a game master! If you’re curious about why I decided to do this series, you can check out my last post here. Today we are going to start at the very beginning, which I hear is a decent place to start. Today we are talking about setting. So without further ado, on your marks, get set! Read More…

Game Master Diaries (Trying Something New)

Hey there, everyone. It’s been a while. My Junior year of ye olde University went out with a bang, and now that I have a chance to breathe again, I’ve been working on some creative projects that I’ve been wanting to do. You may recall from my last post┬áthat I enjoy playing and being the game master for roleplaying games. For a while now I’ve been wanting to share the process of developing the story for an RPG with you all, but the only storyline I had in progress was one that was steeped in mystery and is still ongoing. For that reason, it would have been frustratingly difficult to attempt to pull back the curtain and talk about the way I go about crafting that story without accidentally divulging secrets my players are not supposed to know. As luck would have it, however, I am now in the planning stages of a simple one-shot adventure for my dad and some of our friends who have never played before. Since this is a one-shot, I will be able to write about the story in-depth after the session without worrying about spoilers, and since I am doing all the prep, including the characters, I can give you a look into every process of the game.

I’m going to call this series “Game Master Diaries” or “GMD” for short. The goal is to give you guys a look at the process of creating a story for an RPG, along with some tips if you are looking to run a game of your own. I’ll start with developing your world, then we’ll talk about characters, including some character sketches of the cast I’ve put together for this adventure, before moving on to planning the story and the adventure itself. After we actually play the session, I’ll conclude the series with a debrief about how my plans unfolded and some of my favorite parts of the game. My plan is to have weekly installments of this series going up on Friday mornings until I finish it, but that doesn’t mean I won’t also be working on other stuff, so you may see multiple posts in a week from time to time (shocking, I know!). I’m excited to share this process with you, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading these posts as much as I’ll enjoy writing them. Check back here on Friday for part 1 of Game Master Diaries!