You’ve Run Your First Game. Congrats! What’s Next?

If everything went to plan, you are now an accomplished GM—congratulations! (If you couldn’t schedule your game this past weekend, don’t fret. There’s no hard deadline, or bad grade for “late work.” Feel free to read on, or come back to this post after you run your game.) Hopefully it went well, and hopefully you agree with what we said in the very first session, back in early January: The secret sauce is nothing more than a little bit of prep and a nice helping of confidence. You did the prep, you gained the confidence, and you did it! So, …

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It’s Game Time! (And a Bit About Characters)

This is it: The final session of the New Gamemaster Month program! We’ve come a long way over the past few weeks, and we’re closing in on your first game session. In this, our last part of the 2020 New Gamemaster Month program, let’s talk not about GMing, but about characters. Why? Because your first act as GM will be to shepherd your players through the process of creating their characters—a process that’s likely to take up a portion of your first session. If your players are seasoned veterans of your game of choice, they’ll be familiar with both the …

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Gathering Your Gear

It’s the final week of New Gamemaster Month. Just a few more things to cover before you’re ready to run your game! You’re almost a full-fledged GM. Basic training is about over, so this time we’re going to focus on honing the skills we’ve already discussed. Before we do, though: What Do You Need? Let’s talk about what you’ll need on the fateful evening (or afternoon, or even, perhaps, morning) of your game. So far we’ve been talking mostly about skills and confidence, but this is about the actual physical stuff. The short answer is: You don’t need much. You’ll …

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Dressing Things Up a Bit

This is the sixth installment of New Gamemaster Month! We talked on Tuesday about encounters and their importance to the unfolding narrative of your game and the pace of play. Today we’re going to dress things up just a bit, by talking about the details that bring an encounter to life. Details, Details Details really amount to two things: informational details, tangible details, and descriptive details. OK, that’s three things. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Informational details include stats for creatures, maps of locations, details about the difficulty of a challenge, and names, descriptions, and personalities of NPCs. How much …

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Encounters—The Meat of the Adventure

Welcome to week three of New Gamemaster Month! If you’re just jumping in, don’t fret—it’s not too late. You have a bit of catching up to do, but nothing you can’t handle. More on how to catch up at the bottom of this post. This week we continue to explore the rules and setting, and develop our thinking about the adventure. Encounters! First, let’s talk about encounters. Encounters, sometimes referred to as scenes, are the meat of your adventure. As mentioned last week, an encounter is a point in your adventure where something happens, and usually where the characters (and …

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Let’s Have a Look at the Adventure!

This is the fourth installment of New Gamemaster Month! On Tuesday, we started digging into the rules and setting of our games. Developing a basic fluency in these topics—without sweating the details too much—gives you a foundation for keeping your game sessions flowing at a brisk and enjoyable pace, and allows you to form and run with your creative ideas and those of your players without the distraction of wrestling with unfamiliar rules. So if that’s the foundation, what do we build upon it? The adventure, of course! What Is an Adventure, Really? An RPG adventure is a planned series …

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It’s Week Two! Let’s Talk Setting and Rules

Welcome to the third installment of New Gamemaster Month! This week we’re going to spend a little bit of time learning the rules and setting of your chosen game, and a little time digging into the adventure you’re going to run. Let’s do the rules and setting first, then look at the adventure in Thursday’s activity. But first, a note about how all this relates to other roleplaying games. Just This Game? When we go into the rules and setting in this program, we’re going to be talking about the game you’ve chosen: Numenera, Unknown Armies, Trail of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, …

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Initial Planning for Your Game Session

Welcome to the second installment of New Gamemaster Month! In our last post, we introduced the idea behind New Gamemaster Month and asked you to get your hands on the corebook for your game of choice. If you’re just joining the program, go back and read that post. Then click your way back here and read on! Today we’re going to delve into some of the specifics of preparing for your first session. Before we do, though, I want to touch on one topic: Is It Always This Much Work? We’re going to spend a month getting you ready for …

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Welcome, and Let’s Get Started!

Gamemastering. To some gamers, it seems to come naturally, but to others—longtime veterans of gaming, as well as newbies just entering the hobby—it’s a bit intimidating. But running an RPG can be an incredible joy, and GMs keep our hobby thriving and growing. That’s why we created New Gamemaster Month. If you’ve ever thought about running an RPG, but haven’t taken the plunge, we have good news: Stick with us for a month, and come this time in February you’ll be a real, honest-to-goodness GM. It’ll be easy, and it’ll be fun. We promise. Why Run A Game? Before we …

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PARTICIPATING TEAMS

EVIL HAT

Turning passion into great games for more than 10 years, Evil Hat Productions publishes critically-acclaimed titles including Fate, Blades In The Dark, Monster of the Week, the Dresden Files RPG, and forthcoming Thirsty Sword Lesbians. We’re committed to transparency, inclusivity, and top-notch customer service. From the feel of the book in your hands to the thrills and suspense that arise when the dice hit the table, we’re here to deliver a great gaming experience.

ARC Dream

Blame Arc Dream Publishing for Delta Green, a roleplaying game about a conspiracy of modern investigators desperately struggling to save people from unspeakable cosmic horrors. Delta Green has been winning industry awards for nearly 30 years and is more successful now than ever. Arc Dream publishes many other games about deadly suspense and the terrible risks of courage: the World War II superhero RPG Godlike, Wild Talents, Better Angels, Monsters and Other Childish Things, and more.

Chaosium

The Chaosium was founded by visionary game designer Greg Stafford in 1975. For more than forty years, Chaosium has captivated gamers, readers and mythic adventurers worldwide. Its award-winning roleplaying games, board games and fiction have been acclaimed as some of the most engaging and innovative of all time. Our RPG lines use the d100 Basic Role Playing system (BRP). Once you’ve learned to play one of these games, you’ve learned to play the others.

Pelgrane Press

Pelgrane Press publishes character-focused, story-driven RPGs. Our GUMSHOE system enables collaborative mystery-solving RPGs, as seen in the 1930s mythos Trail of Cthulhu, the spies-vs-vampires thriller Night’s Black Agents, and the sword & sorcery Swords of the Serpentine. Our DramaSystem facilitates affecting dramatic interactions between characters, as do our RPG anthologies, #Feminism, Seven Wonders, and Honey & Hot Wax. 13th Age is our epic d20 fantasy RPG, which weaves characters’ backgrounds and unique traits together for engaging, heroic adventures.

Atlas Games

Atlas Games is a publisher of award-winning card, board, and roleplaying games like Ars Magica, Feng Shui, Unknown Armies, Gloom, and Once Upon a Time. Since 1990, we’ve delivered some of the most fun and widely respected games in the tabletop hobby.

Monte Cook Games

At Monte Cook Games, we love the power of imagination. We love to build stirring vistas, craft great stories, and inspire dreams of other worlds. Our all-star team combines sweeping visions with premium art, storytelling, and design to bring you high-quality, innovative tabletop RPGs such as Numenera, Invisible Sun, the Cypher System, and our family RPG No Thank You, Evil!.

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