I grew up near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, ancestral home of D&D and TSR until 1997. The Game Guild, perhaps the first modern game store in the U.S., was my old stomping ground, where I cut my teeth on RPGs. I played with some fantastic GMs before I even know what made a good GM.
Trouble is, I don’t remember most of their names.
I *do* remember Dave Hankle. He ran an epic game. And I mean that literally, not in the “high-level character” sense. His game was expansive, beyond what we know of today as a megadungeon. With an inordinate number of players. I tried a game with nine players once, and it was too many to keep track of, yet Dave would run games with a dozen or more and every player was engaged and interested, somehow. Amazing.
Was he the best? Probably not, but he was definitely up there.
Thing is, I can find something to enjoy about almost any game, even if the GM stinks. For me, the best GM is one who wants his players to have fun, and has fun doing it.
“Which number on a d20 do you roll the most?” I realize that we as humans try to recognize patterns in an otherwise random sample. Considering that it’s arbitrary which number you roll each time (more or less), I’m going to instead talk about the sin of using counters as dice. Read the rest of this entry >>
One of my first GM experiences I used an NPC who was a former PC of mine: Sir Tamen, a haughty noble, stern, severe even, but whose heart was in the right place. I meant for Tamen to be a patron of the party, directing them toward their next mission, aiding them when necessary, nudging them if needed. Read the rest of this entry >>
The rook is a Pathfinder class I designed for Purple Duck Games. The goal was to replace the 3.5 beguiler, a charm-based rogue/mage. Read the rest of this entry >>
Mundane (non-magic) items are where it’s at in D&D. They have all the creativity and discovery of inventing new magics without countless “templates” or things-that-came-before to compare them to (and steal thunder from) your new item. Read the rest of this entry >>
I’ve never been a fan of the simple +X magic item. Cloaks of resistance, rings of protection, sword, bow, armor: they’re all boring. Read the rest of this entry >>
Now we come to the bottom of the barrel. Favorite energy type? Whoever wrote this list needs to do a second pass. Still, I suppose different types of damage are a huge part of the modern game, it’s frequent in 2e, and shows up now and then in earlier editions. Read the rest of this entry >>
If you remember from Day 10, I once had a GM who enjoyed challenging his evil party. He wasn’t always very good at it, however. Enter: the giant slug.
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I can’t pick a favorite dragon: they’re all cool. Read the rest of this entry >>