Game Master's Journey 149: Writers as GMs, Running Improvisational Adventures & DM-PCs vs. NPCs

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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Open Legend RPG



Getting your Players Into the Game

Get On Writing, the print version, or I recommend the Audible version read by Stephen King himself

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

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Music Credits

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