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  • skill challenges | StupidRanger.com
    from the skill challenges Category 1 11 10 10 How I survived on almost only Skill Challenges Welcome to StupidRanger com We re here to provide our unique perspective on roleplaying games dungeon mastering character development and much much more

    Original URL path: http://www.stupidranger.com/category/skill-challenges (2016-04-27)
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  • gm tips | StupidRanger.com
    the Screen Don t Feel Like a Wizard 2 7 15 09 DM Your Way To Better Roleplaying 4 6 23 09 More Sizzle Cards Welcome to StupidRanger com We re here to provide our unique perspective on roleplaying games

    Original URL path: http://www.stupidranger.com/tag/gm-tips (2016-04-27)
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  • Interview: Bill Slavicsek and Andy Collins from Wizards of the Coast | StupidRanger.com
    silly names for characters or pun filled adventures or anything like that I prefer to sort of play it straight as the DM and let the humor come out of just the craziness that is this particular story we re telling I would say we bust up laughing a few times a session at least but that never keeps us from moving the story forward Bill In general my style of play tends to be towards once we get to play it s serious My Thursday group which is my long running campaign and it goes from game to game but right now we re doing Dungeons Dragons obviously It was Star Wars for a long time back in the day But it s got people like Jeff Grubb and Steve Winter in it and the whole time game designers are naturally just funny so I have to try to keep them on the straight and narrow But like Andy I d rather the humor comes out in play not because I set up a funny situation or because they made a stupid name And we usually have dinner together before the game and I try to make that where they get out all of the jokes and the puns and the news of the week right so that when we get to the game we re concentrating mostly on the game But it s still meant to be a fun time so if everyone starts giggling for a half an hour I usually just let that go And you asked about mood and stuff I also depending on what we re playing like when I ran my Star Wars campaign I would put the Star Wars albums or soundtracks on in the background If we re doing a horror game I ll do like Dracula or whatever creepy music I can find Just to help set the mood Andy I love using music in the background for mine And I have a couple of players who are convinced that I choreograph my adventures to the soundtracks just because I ll be talking as an NPC and I ll come to some momentous point in the speech and the music behind me will rise and the players look at me like you totally planned that didn t you Bill Speaking of silly names this was way back in First Ed play when I was running my first game group One of my players created a character named Elfie I said you know you don t really want to be Elfie the Elf Really Come on is that the best you can do No no I want to All right fine Goes into the Tomb of Horrors you remember the alter Goes up to the alter And no one wants to deal with this alter at all And he says Ah it s there for a reason Touches it Lightning bolt goes down the aisle kills the whole party All right see what happens when you have a stupid named character So what does he do He makes Elfie 2 He got through Elfie 7 before he finally learned his lesson And because he thought there was some trick to it he kept touching the alter That s how he kept losing Elfies Andy Boy every time I hear this story the number of Elfies goes up Bill Hey Vanir What genre of campaign do you prefer What do you prefer to play yourselves Bill Prefer to play Depends what I m in the mood for what the idea I have at the time when I launch a campaign And I ll even change genres throughout a campaign just to mix it up I m very fond of horror so I tend toward that I m very fond of action adventure like Star Wars like Indiana Jones like Eberron My D D campaigns tend to be more cinematic Well all my roleplaying tends to be cinematic It s what I learned at West End West End Games And it s just stuck with me as the best method for me to do roleplaying Andy My group definitely prefers a combat and action focused game no matter what the genre So I try to make sure that there s plenty of action I can sense the tension at the table if too much time has gone by without Initiative getting rolled That said I like to play in a lot of different genres Right now I m in three different groups One of them is a sort of traditional heroic fantasy with a bit of a dark tinge to it The players found out recently that they were working for the villain and have to cope with that moral ethical dilemma I m running another one that is a heavier sort of intrigue based game that splits its time between this very corrupt city and a deadly jungle filled with ruins and monsters And then I m playing in a third game that s heavily inspired by the Deadwood series from HBO So we re in this sort of the characters in this frontier town populated with lots of really not very nice people and we re sort of struggling to figure out where how do we fit with all these things So three sort of different types of games but really they all eventually come down to let s roll some dice and crack some skulls Dante A lot of what we do on our site s about creating encounters and campaigns We try and tailor for different experience levels of DMs for the first time versus more experienced Can you give us some quick tips on creating a balanced encounter or campaign Andy I love the advice that the first Dungeon Master s Guide for 4th Edition presents It s a very straight forward Look if your characters are Level 10 five monsters of 10th level are a good place

    Original URL path: http://www.stupidranger.com/2009/09/interview-bill-slavicsek-and-andy-collins-from-wizards-of-the-coast.php (2016-04-27)
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  • Behind the Screen: Pickup Games… | StupidRanger.com
    thinking about getting together a side campaign to make this happen In addition thanks to some kind people at Wizards of the Coast we ve gotten a few review copies that I ve not made it to yet and I think having a sandbox will help me in doing a proper review of these books A few questions if I may How many of you regularly play pick up games Do you go for quick gen characters A shifting campaign setting to encompass a bunch of different ideas Dovetailing these campaigns into your main storyline I m interested in hearing how to overcome some of the logistics of having a secondary gaming group and how to make the campaign stay coherent with an irregular schedule Help a Dante out If you give me a good enough idea I m sure I ll write an article about it so now s your chance for minor Internet Fame from behind the screen Dante rpgbloggers 2 Responses leave one TheJollyLlama875 permalink March 31 2010 You might want to check out Ars Lundi s West Marches entry He s got some good advice there It s not for me though I m a railroader

    Original URL path: http://www.stupidranger.com/2010/02/behind-the-screen-pickup-games.php (2016-04-27)
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  • Behind the Screen: Pet Players? | StupidRanger.com
    go with his character A couple of the other players seeing the steadily mounting log posts have made comments about how much more has happened with his character And two having seen his character aiming towards taking on something that had been placed in the campaign world as a completely optional potential side quest that has no connection to the main campaign arc have said things that have led me to believe they sorta kinda worry that he s getting a juicy storyline and they aren t Thing is he s the one going after it and every one of them has the option to do something similar and with one exception a player who simply moves more slowly none of them are doing it On the other hand when I was running the weekly table sessions I tried to set up arcs that spotlighted each character in turn And if anything the main storyline is set up for a player other than my husband Jenny Snyder permalink February 2 2010 Bevin yeah you ve pretty much described it pretty well And I have compensated by fleshing out awesome destinies for everyone or trying to as you pointed out not all the players are as forthcoming It s just harder to sit down with everyone the way I do with him to get all the really juicy details Has anyone had any luck with those questionnaires that are sometimes recommended to help players develop their characters Anytime I ve seen them done a lot of the answers come back way too brief to be of much use That s kind of how I feel sometimes with my players I go So you re going to save all of your people against the plague that has cursed them for ages and the player is all Ok Sure Maybe I have a hard time gauging how much my players are enjoying their storylines I dunno Also I find I don t have to fudge many dice rolls I have a genuinely hard time trying to kill my players They re a little too resourceful sometimes Matthew Arcilla permalink February 2 2010 Seems like spouses and significant others are common elements of favoritism In my case some reverse favoritism has happened on occasion in the campaign that my girlfriend is running In this campaign I m generally in charge of designing some encounters and assigning treasure though I m out of the loop with regards to plot However my character tends to take a backseat simply because making his motivations drive the plot would create the appearance of favoritism In recent sessions the rest of my group has not been very proactive and it addles me sometimes because I want to go Screw this prophecy stuff Imma goin artifact hunting in Xendrik so I don t have to deal with them plodding around but I know that would seriously wreck the telling of the story Simply put I feel like my character is

    Original URL path: http://www.stupidranger.com/2010/02/behind-the-screen-pet-players.php (2016-04-27)
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  • Behind the Screen: Wherein I admit my failings… | StupidRanger.com
    people have spent too long building the canon and reading the works for me to enjoy it as either a player or a GM anymore Of course this is just my opinion and enjoyment for the thousands who love the Forgotten Realms settings rock on Just as there are plenty of ideas in that and any other work free to poach for your own campaign It s the same reason I could never get into MERP as purely run too much canon to the world so where is the magic for me IMHO is all Aoi permalink January 11 2010 Well I would say first and foremost that it s your game and your dark elves can be as similar to or different from canon as you like Depictions of dark elf society have in my readings typically involved strict theological matriarchies worshipping Lolth They also tend to be incredibly sadistic and prone to Machiavellian intrigues that often result in the deaths of political nobodies and prominent figures alike and blood sports or more precisely torture of captured prisoners as entertainment and if memory serves me right from a reading from a while back weird sadomasochistic BDSM orgies Seriously it s really messed up and probably way too graphic for most games Moreover drow societies IMO would not actually work there needs to be a certain level of trust that you won t be randomly killed off by your matron for fun in order to generate buy in to the society This trust allows for the development of long term institutions and allows governments to function Drow as commonly depicted would be too busy trying to kill each other off to actually be a threat outside of their weird society From the individual drow s perspective why participate in drow society when you stand a better chance of surviving by going the way of Drizzt and striking out on your own Oh yeah and they have spider themed decor for just about everything I think that if you stick to the spider theme the spider fashion sense if you will the theological matriarchy extreme social darwinism combined with manifest destiny and general lack of value placed on the lives of individuals you ll create a drow society that is true enough to canon that players won t be confused Dante permalink January 11 2010 Thanks for the thoughts and advice Stupid Ranger reminds me that part of the problem is that she has read them and I have not so I have already gotten in jest a set of wow Drow probably wouldn t really do that comments from her I m set to get into reading the campaign setting a bit more and I have some ideas percolating already Keep it comin Swordgleam permalink January 11 2010 I have already gotten in jest a set of wow Drow probably wouldn t really do that This is one of the major reasons why I only run homebrew settings I m

    Original URL path: http://www.stupidranger.com/2010/01/behind-the-screen-wherein-i-admit-my-failings.php (2016-04-27)
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  • Behind the Screen: Game Chatter and Plot Progression… | StupidRanger.com
    to keep the kiddies out of our hair while we play Or if you re cool like Phil The Chatty DM you can just invite your kids to play D D with you when they re old enough Let side conversations happen Not only are they fun but when you game with friends there is a certain social element that must be exhausted before gaming can occur If you do want to get somewhere with your game simply just inform your players that something important is about to happen and they need to curtail their conversations and focus for the next few minutes It worked for us last session Tweak your game so it is slightly more irreverent and therefore interesting Make that roving band of thieves and bandits into rednecks They serve the same purpose you get the ability to use names like Jethro Jim Bob and Ray Roy and the group pays a little more attention when a captured bandit spits tobacco in a player character s eye It is perfectly normal to have the occasional session where the group is distracted and focused on getting back in touch with one another If you let things unfold you

    Original URL path: http://www.stupidranger.com/2009/11/behind-the-screen-game-chatter-and-plot-progression.php (2016-04-27)
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  • Wherein the Penny Arcade guys have a great idea… | StupidRanger.com
    group does skill challenges in between sessions via email I think this is a great idea especially if you can engineer a situation where a little outside the session intrigue is in order He claims that their group ends up doing something like this almost every week and I think it s a GREAT idea In my old campaign we would periodically do offline blog posts as our characters and I would provide a little roleplaying experience but this takes the idea of online campaign content in a different way that I really think is cool Has anyone else tried doing this yet How did it go for you Let s hear from you in the comments from 4e Advice behind the screen Dante rpgbloggers 2 Responses leave one Wampus Cat permalink November 5 2009 Play by post basically Which is great if every player can be counted on to participate to a reasonable degree Oz permalink November 5 2009 My group commonly bluebooks via e mail but we ve never done something like an actual skill challenge I wonder what is the online rolling app he mentioned Click here to cancel reply Leave a Reply Name required Email required

    Original URL path: http://www.stupidranger.com/2009/11/wherein-the-penny-arcade-guys-have-a-great-idea.php (2016-04-27)
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