Listener-GM Stephen Rhodes joins Lex to discuss the craft and art of running RPGs. They discuss the similarities and differences between writing for video games and running RPG adventures, they have some thoughts on using improvisation more as a GM, and Stephen points out yet another way that theater of the mind play is an invaluable tool in the improvisational GM’s toolbox. They also talk about keeping a good balance in your games and making the most of those wonderful moments of “downtime” you have as a GM during a game session. They also discuss the difference between a DM-PC and an NPC that travels with the party, how to know which side of that line you’re on, and how killing off a beloved NPC can be exactly what your story needs. Finally, they discuss how a GM wanting to improve her craft can learn a lot from books on writing, and they give some recommendations.
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Special Guest: Stephen Rhodes
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Getting your Players Into the Game
Similarities and differences between writing for video games and creating adventures for tabletop RPGs
Running more improvisational games and campaigns
Yet another way theater of the mind play can be very useful for GMs, i.e. the “mental fog of war”
Keeping a good balance through your sessions and campaigns
Making the most of your “GM downtime” during a session
DM PCs versus NPCs
How to ensure you don’t cross that line between an NPC that is traveling with the party and a DM-PC.
The usefulness of killing NPCs