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<![CDATA[Pen & Paper Games - Blogs - Blond Gamer Girl]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/blog.php/2735-Blond-Gamer-Girl Pen and Paper Games hosts a very powerful, but easy to seach and join database of players and game masters in the United States and Canada. Our forums are also a great place to find the most recent news, product releases, tips, and rpg discussion. en Fri, 27 May 2016 08:28:43 GMT vBulletin 60 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/pnpg_style/misc/rss.jpg <![CDATA[Pen & Paper Games - Blogs - Blond Gamer Girl]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/blog.php/2735-Blond-Gamer-Girl Just A Warm Body http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1844-Just-A-Warm-Body Sat, 22 Feb 2014 17:19:33 GMT Recently and its not the only game or the only person this has happened with but there are players who show up to a game and just play games on... Recently and its not the only game or the only person this has happened with but there are players who show up to a game and just play games on their phone or notebook all game. I do mean ALL game not just checking email or messages real quick.


I'm in two different games with two different GMs and different players and each one has a warm body only player. Warm bodies just take up space and take time away from the game. The GM will try all kinds of methods to engage the player which takes away from interested players.


As a player, I've witnessed a few different scenarios:


a. The player plays a character who treats the other characters like dirt. Really, who wants to hang out with a jackass. Well, that's on the player.


b. GM Bias: I seen games where one player is way more powerful than the other players so the other players will tune out. That one is on the GM.


c. Player disinterest - nuff said. They consider this to be acceptable most all the time. Like folks who go out to dinner with a couple people but spend the entire time on the cell phone.


If its a or b, it is solvable by just tackling the problem head on instead of dancing around.


However, when it is player disinterest, why bother? As a former GM, I would talk to the players to see if it was solvable. If it was simple disinterest or that's just how they are (RUDE and that way in all their games), I booted them out. I would rather have fewer but interest players than have an oxygen stealers.


RUDE Players - Why not just stay at home and play video games?


GMs - Why waste game time going after the bad?


Seriously, I'm very curious. ]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1844-Just-A-Warm-Body
DnD 4e Psion Build http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1747-DnD-4e-Psion-Build Tue, 07 Aug 2012 02:25:24 GMT Hello Everyone, I have only played DnD five times in my life.....so I need some advice on a character build. I decided on the Eladrin race. I... Hello Everyone,

I have only played DnD five times in my life.....so I need some advice on a character build. I decided on the Eladrin race. I want my PC to have some Face abilities (for those familiar with Shadowrun), negotiating, manipulation, leadership and that sort of thing but not be sloppy in combat. We're allowed to start at 5th level.

When it comes to combat, I tend to attack/defend using inventive methods as opposed to straight up blasts. Yes - I'm a woman so I'm naturally devious.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks bunches. ]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1747-DnD-4e-Psion-Build
Playing it military style http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1737-Playing-it-military-style Tue, 05 Jun 2012 01:46:44 GMT To all GMS and Players out there (and please put your perspective), do you give (get) bonuses for doing a thorough reconnaissance and adequate... To all GMS and Players out there (and please put your perspective), do you give (get) bonuses for doing a thorough reconnaissance and adequate planning and practice (Think Oceans 11, their practice run…) If so, what do you do? Lower the difficulty? Amount of hits needed?

Having said that, I do mean recon and planning like the true military do. As a player, I’ve taken several GMs by surprise by trying to play it by using recon and strategy which I don’t get because I really enjoy those aspects of gaming.
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Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1737-Playing-it-military-style
AYMS - Angry Young Man Syndrome http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1727-AYMS-Angry-Young-Man-Syndrome Mon, 30 Apr 2012 21:49:16 GMT To preface this, I am someone who’s successfully been in sales, customer service, maintained vendor relations and had negotiation training. It... To preface this, I am someone who’s successfully been in sales, customer service, maintained vendor relations and had negotiation training. It might be safe to say I know something about convincing folks to do things.


Training and experience aside, there’s a saying “you get more flies with honey than vinegar,” which I’m sure everyone has heard. Most of the time the honey saying works but about 5 percent of the time, one has to be a bit stern. Secondly, common sense really does count in life. Third, treat people as you wish to be treated.
Now in roleplay (yes role not roll), those same concepts should apply when establishing and maintaining contacts or negotiating to get what you want which are very important in certain games, especially the contacts portion.



In a game, What not to do -Take an established ally or contact who is a friendly and acts accordingly and treat them badly. So often the Angry Young Man (AYM) decides that they can talk smack and/or verbally abuse them (not in jest). After that the NPC says, don’t call me the next time you want a favor. The GM says cross Mr. Smith off your list of allies/contacts. AYMs always get upset because that was unfair. Not all young men do this but when it does happen it does seem to be done by males between the ages of 18-23. It has happened so often in my playing and GM’ing experience that it makes me wonder.



These AYMs aren't playing a jack@ass characters by background or usually ugly to other PCs. Outside of game, they're nice folks.

Even before I had all the training in the first paragraph, I knew about the sentiments of the second one. This has happened just too many times with various AYMs. Even though its a game and not RL, the same principles apply or should. Who in the world thinks that you win friends and influence people by being a jack@ss? Did I miss the memo?


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Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1727-AYMS-Angry-Young-Man-Syndrome
Gaming….Exercising the Imagination http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1584-Gaming…-Exercising-the-Imagination Sat, 02 Apr 2011 17:51:16 GMT Many studies have been done that prove if you don’t exercise your mind, your intelligence will go down and the opposite holds true as well. Of the... Many studies have been done that prove if you don’t exercise your mind, your intelligence will go down and the opposite holds true as well. Of the different aspects of brain power, my weakness was creativity according to all the tests. Conversely, analytics and especially arithmetic were my strongest and I excelled to high levels in them. Once I started gaming, I found my creativity increased.

A year later, I started writing fan fiction as a result of that creativity. Almost four years ago, during a six month lay-off I tweaked it up and published on-line and continued to do so with great improvement along the way.

Because of positive reviews and encouragement to write original fiction, I have decided to write a paranormal fiction novel. I’ve given myself one year to complete it before I submit for publication. Whether or not I ever get published is irrelevant. To me success is actually completing it to the best of my ability and being brave enough to submit it and face possible/probable all around rejection. To that end, I would just go to on-line or something.

In summary, gaming increases creativity and can have a positive effect on your life if you let it.

Anyone else?

BTW – I’m not quitting my job or anything. My analytical side ran the numbers and the day job is still important in paying the mortgage and other expenses.:)
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Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1584-Gaming…-Exercising-the-Imagination
Combat or A Chance to use the little gray cells http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1579-Combat-or-A-Chance-to-use-the-little-gray-cells Wed, 16 Mar 2011 21:23:33 GMT Combat or Creativity To all GMs out there and answer this honestly: Do you create bad guys or situations where instead of using combat to... Combat or Creativity


To all GMs out there and answer this honestly: Do you create bad guys or situations where instead of using combat to diffuse the situation a player can realistically use their creativity to diffuse the situation?


If combat is the only solution, is the GM creating the power gamers?


How do you define combat?


PC Definition: A chance to kill some bad guys
GM Definition: A chance to quell the herd


“A chance to use the little gray cells,” Poirot quote.
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Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1579-Combat-or-A-Chance-to-use-the-little-gray-cells
GM Burn Out….NOT http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1578-GM-Burn-Out…-NOT Mon, 14 Mar 2011 00:40:18 GMT A few months ago I was getting psyched for my I have run a campaign for nearly a year GM burn-out. Astoundingly, I found myself NOT burned out or... A few months ago I was getting psyched for my I have run a campaign for nearly a year GM burn-out. Astoundingly, I found myself NOT burned out or even anywhere near it. I said to myself Why not? I still work full time and put in over-time maybe more frequently than before while still refusing to give up my weekends (Yup-I’ll get to work on a weekday at 7 AM and put in the OT then without regret but with OT pay). What changed? – Many things I guess.


1. Less frequency: I used to push myself as a GM to run a game every week (more power to those who can). Nowadays, I run the game twice a month and discuss the schedule with the players with a lot of advance planning. I like the game to be more of an event than a routine. It’s great hearing that if a game date falls on an “everyone is busy that day” time, folks push for a reschedule and not a cancellation because they really want to play.


2. Style match: Over the years, I’ve played many games with many GMs. I admit that if I liked something they did, I adopted it be it style, rules or whatever. However, everyone has a certain style as a player and GM. Some styles don’t match so don’t force it just leave it with no hard feelings. In other words, you can’t please everyone so go with what you know and what you do best.


3. No BS tolerance: My two personal pet peeves are flakiness and out of character so I don’t put up with it as a GM.



Flakiness: A lot of last minute cancellations. Sure, it happens at times but when a player consistently does this, I tell them to come back once they have mastered their schedule. Advance notice is fine. I myself had to take a hiatus from a game that I enjoy as a player but is a weeknight that goes till late. The 7 AM work schedule conflicted so I told my GM and friend exactly what was going on and he completely understood – friendship intact.


Out of Character: Yes it happens but I spend about three hours prepping for each game session not to mention all the reading of the rules and stuff before even starting a campaign. If players just want to BS around and not game I tell them that I can use my hours for much more constructive purposes.


In conclusion, I GM with a group of players where all of the above are agreed upon. We have fun. We hang outside of game. I think all of that prevents burn out.


Anyone else have similar? How do other GMs avoid burn out?



PS - The picture inspired an adventure idea or rather a new form of opponent for my players:) Mwaw..ha...ha...ha!
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Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1578-GM-Burn-Out…-NOT
The Frugal GM: Are Gaming Supplements Necessary Evils? http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1535-The-Frugal-GM-Are-Gaming-Supplements-Necessary-Evils Thu, 17 Feb 2011 23:07:02 GMT As a GM: When running a game, of course I have my core rule book either in electronic or print format, sometimes both. If a newer version is... As a GM: When running a game, of course I have my core rule book either in electronic or print format, sometimes both. If a newer version is published, I don’t necessarily buy it. If the old version suffices, I keep using it. When it comes to supplements, I buy what I consider important to the overall grand plot. For instance, if the setting is New York and the system has a New York supplement that I think is quality and at a reasonable price (usually used or electronic), I purchase it. Otherwise, I might have an older supplement and simply tweak it if needed. If a player has a nifty tool they want from a supplement I don’t have, I ask them to bring the book to me fifteen minutes prior to the start of the game for my perusal. If approved, I type it up in and save it in their character file (fast typist here). Basically, just because it’s published doesn’t mean I have to buy it.

Further to save money, I use supplements from other systems and translate into the current system. My favorite is the DnD Monster Manual because of the full color excellent artwork and well defined index. I simply translate stats which is easy enough. I had a player who nearly fainted because I wasn’t using the monster manual for the system we were playing despite the fact that most of it was the same. Conversely, they owned every supplement published and bought the moment something came out.
Why spend extra money on a monster manual for the two other systems I need it for when I can take five minutes to convert stats and the PCs are going to try to kill it anyhow? Another translation of that is: paying $20 for 5 minutes of use roughly equals $240 per hour that I have paid – not much bang for the buck. Whereas, the DnD Monster Manual that I bought used for $5 has been used at least 20 times.

Anyone else have similar philosophies? Should a GM own ALL the supplements? ]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1535-The-Frugal-GM-Are-Gaming-Supplements-Necessary-Evils
Shadowrun Rules Augment http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1522-Shadowrun-Rules-Augment Sun, 30 Jan 2011 15:09:58 GMT In my previous post I mentioned that I have a list of disagreements with some rules so I thought I would put them here. Some of these augments can... In my previous post I mentioned that I have a list of disagreements with some rules so I thought I would put them here. Some of these augments can be used in other systems as well. Let me know if you like them. I'm curious of what folks think of my creativity and my thoughts on attribute defaulting in any system.

SR4 Rules Augmented

Magic
When using Astral Perception, the sorcerer can either perceive cyber and essence like the book does. OR They may read auras, with the same required successes as the Assensing Table p. 183 SR4. The Aura colors can tell you mood and magic (see the Aura table in WoD Vampire 2nd or 3rd ed.). However, knowledge of the Occult must be purchased at level two. While you can do both with two separate rolls, both CANNOT be done at the same time.

Skill Groups (GM Created)

Sherlock (Intuition)
Perception: the process of using the senses to acquire information about an individual
Specializations:
Lie Detection: By reading facial expressions you can sense lies (Think Lie To Me)
Inference (think of the scene in Young Sherlock Holme when Holmes meets Watson)
Sense Motive
Scan: the process of using the senses to acquire information about the surrounding environment
Specializations:
Threat assessment (think The Fifth Element when Corbin Dallas assesses the hostage
situation in a couple of seconds)
Noticing Details: Think Monk

Bodyguard Merit Group (Intuition)



Threat Assessment: Scan through a crowd and notice immediate dangers (the guy carrying a gun); +1 Dice to an Intuition + Perception Roll for the above situation only


Harm’s Way: When guarding and you are very near your client (4 ft or under), you are able to put yourself in harm’s way for the attack intended for them. Technically, its -1 for dodge for you and +1 for your client.


Fancy Footwork: In close combat with an attacker and your client is near or helping your client to dodge bullets from a far off attacker, you are able to punch and kick an attacker; fire a gun while blocking your client from bullets; whip a sword around to parry an attack without penalty or simply grab your client and run. In any of the aforementioned or like, you add +1 to your attack or reaction bonus (running only for reaction).


Composure: When guarding your client, you can keep a cool head when the it hits the fan. Add +1 dice to your dice pool for willpower or initiative rolls in the case of the aforementioned situation.


Load Bearing: As long as your client isn’t bigger than you, you can carry them for short bursts during a dangerous situation without penalty or a strength check (10 minutes). You can even fight without penalty. If carrying someone, it would be one handed fighting or kicking in the course of brawling. (Body of 3 and Strength of 3 are Prerequisites)

Attributes (Defaulting without the Skill)
While the book says it is all good, I strongly disagree. Be warned. {Case in point: Your buddy who has never touched a gun, picks up a hair trigger Italian made sub-machine gun and decides to fire it. They have never felt a gun kick and if they drop it may fire when it hits the ground. Do you stay in the same building? My point exactly}

Ties in Dice Rolling
Always goes to the PCs.

Common Sense Merit
Newbies appreciate this. You get it for the first three game sessions for free. ]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1522-Shadowrun-Rules-Augment
Group, GM or System http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1521-Group-GM-or-System Sun, 30 Jan 2011 14:54:20 GMT Group, GM or System I see a lot of posts about various systems and this has prompted some thoughts on my part and might provoke some questions... Group, GM or System


I see a lot of posts about various systems and this has prompted some thoughts on my part and might provoke some questions on everyone else’s part. Which is most important: the group, game or system? How do you rank them?


Group (50%): This is the most important IMHO because if players don’t get along or simply the group doesn’t mesh well, everything else is moot. Face it – who wants to spend several hours with people they can’t stand? Also, you have to have agreement on style of play (role play vs. roll play). Case in point and on side note, when hiring a potential employee companies look for a good match once a skill requirement is met.


GM(35%): The reason I downplay the GM is because IMHO a strong group can influence a GM’s style. Constructive Criticism can go a long way to tweaking a good GM to a great one. If the GM is awful, not much can be done other than voting in a new one.


System (15%): To me a system is simply a background world with a set of rules. If you don’t like a certain system, choose another in that same genre or tweak those rules. For instance, I’ve played Cyberpunk and Shadowrun. I love SR because the world has magic and therefore more options. However, CP has some things I really like so I incorporated as an SR GM. That being said, I still have a short list of disagreements which I put forth to the group both written and verbally.


What does everyone else think? If anyone agrees, why do folks still shop for a system? ]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1521-Group-GM-or-System
GM / Self Defeating NPCs http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1516-GM-Self-Defeating-NPCs Mon, 24 Jan 2011 03:28:06 GMT Currently in the Shadowrun Game I'm running, it seems that I have the beginnings of the over use of Spirits. Basically, PCs have begun to use spirits to do tasks that they can do. The party is mage heavy to begin with so its not like they need it. To me Spirits are self-defeating NPCs.

In the past any SR game that I have played in or GM'd for, spirits were used sparingly for this reason.

Has anyone ever had this happen in SR or any other game? What did you do?

Basically I thought of restricting spirit use if the following can apply:

1. Can the players accomplish this task themselves? If so, not allowed.


2. If used, a spirit can only perform passive duties. Basically, a spirit will NOT be an active PC.

What does everyone think?


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Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1516-GM-Self-Defeating-NPCs
Shouldn’t Gamers Be Open Minded? http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1482-Shouldn’t-Gamers-Be-Open-Minded Fri, 17 Dec 2010 20:47:17 GMT I want to preface by saying that I think for the most part they are but some not so much. Being in any sort of fandom is an invitation for the... I want to preface by saying that I think for the most part they are but some not so much. Being in any sort of fandom is an invitation for the public to criticize. At least that is what I have found. The reason this topic has come up for me personally is due to a recent disappointment. All this is regards to recruitment and belonging to a group.

  1. Within the pool of gamers out there, first you just gotta get a group/players that can meet with your schedule. That many times eliminates quite a bunch.
  2. Next is the genre. Realistically speaking, if the first one is met, I think if someone is looking for Pathfinder that they should be open to D&D. Folks shouldn’t so hung up on a system. Swords and sorcery in a middle ages type setting – that would be what I would call a realistic expectation.
  3. Location – Expecting that you will find a group fitting 1 and 2 that is only five minutes away from you seems a little unrealistic to me. If you live in a metropolitan area, it might be better but out in the boonies is unrealistic.
  4. Next is the compatibility. This falls into three sub-categories:
    1. Combat/Roleplay ratios – Let’s face it the 100% Combat wouldn’t be compatible with the 100% RP. Getting five folks together that agree on that in addition to 1-3 is a challenge.
    2. Maturity – While I am NOT age prejudiced, let’s face it the older you are the harder it is to find gamers your own age. Getting past college, the player pool shrinks.
    3. Reliability – For some not important but others it is

  5. The Intrinsic Qualities
    1. Plot – Very hard to define – For me a dungeon crawl won’t do. I want/give complicated politics/intrigue/mystery. The more you stump me as a player the more I will bow to your GM greatness. If you blind-side me with the unexpected, I might just kiss you for it.
    2. Characters – If you work my background into a plot, I do a happy dance. So many GMs ignore it. Augment it if you must to work it in better. I do (with that in mind though, I do NOT change it. I just add some seasoning.)
    3. Fairness – While it is true that you get what you put into it, I’ve experienced GMs who play favorites to the point of OMG get a grip. Realistically, it is entirely NOT possible to have 5 players who get exactly 20% of game, plot and GM attention for every session. One should strive for it but there are so many factors that it is nearly impossible. Gross favoritism however, it not acceptable to me or by me.




Once all the hurdles listed above have been cleared and you finally have that group where everyone has met with 1 through 4, isn’t that an accomplishment? To me adding number 5 is icing on the cake and as a player, there is so much latitude with that. Actually, there’s some latitude on any of the numbers if the others are met. Since 5 is so hard to quantify, I always as a player, give it three sessions to see how it goes.

Well, here’s my tale of woe…

Background: We are in the middle of a campaign with an encompassing political plot with many individual missions that are most of the time separate. There is an NPC who is very important to that plot but none of the players know it or how much. At first, he is aloof. Gradually they warm up with little tokens and gestures of friendship. He’s done a lot for them. A woman shatters his heart.

Situation: I had a new player who seemed entirely compatible on ALL (1-5) of the above. Everyone liked him. I spend several hours going over his character and all. All seems well. I give him our adventure logs which are quite extensive and detailed.

He joins in a short session as in he could only be there for a third of it. For one hour, folks are arriving, going over points, and talking to the new guy before we jump in. Begin actual session: The NPC noted above drinks away his heartache in a bad part of town. The PCs decide to rescue him. As a drunk, he is Sam Kennison to the ladies but ok with the fellows. Folks get into the roleplay big time and the antics are hilarious. The males join in and drink except the new guy. They get home and sober up. The NPC apologizes the next morning and lets them keep an extremely expensive liquor he found, sends the women roses and apologizes and thanks them. New guy who plays a guy BTW now has to leave.

Four more hours of roleplay: The NPC gives the PCs lots of info and helps them on their mission as a thank you. They complete a mission that they started last session. End Session. NPC has even more info to give and now if things keep going well will give it.

In RL, after all that and compatibility on seemingly points 1-5 above, new player resigns because he didn’t like that NPC, thought it was a waste of time and wanted to kill him but didn’t because the other players might have gotten upset.

As a GM I was livid after all that work I put into this guy. Further, I have played a lot of long term campaigns that I have thoroughly enjoyed BUT I can’t say that every single session of those campaigns sat with me 100%. There’s no way to please all of the players all of the time. Further, I have been in situations where 1-4 criteria were met but I must say, I give three sessions before I make a judgment. Even then if something bugged me, I would have a chat with the GM as an adult instead of resigning and being insulting in that resignation.

Why do you all think of the situation? Do you think that was small minded? ]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1482-Shouldn’t-Gamers-Be-Open-Minded
Floorplans HELP http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1456-Floorplans-HELP Sat, 27 Nov 2010 15:19:53 GMT HELP!!! While I can get home and business floor plans and tons of maps for travel and just add some stuff to make it an SR4 genre, I completely... HELP!!!

While I can get home and business floor plans and tons of maps for travel and just add some stuff to make it an SR4 genre, I completely stink at drawing and thought maybe some folks here may know of a resource for me at a free or nominal price.

I want to make a complicated B&E for a small museum. I would like realistic floor plans and maybe even some security measures. This is a futuristic setting but a modern museum (preferred) would do. Some of the plans I've found in supplements are rather simplistic. I'm looking for complexity and willing to add layers of security with my handy tracing paper. My players are pretty sophisticated and are craving an Ocean's 11 sort of thing. They really like taking a few hours to plan and not just leave it to dice rolls.

Anyhow, any ideas anyone? This is driving me nuts. ]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1456-Floorplans-HELP
Amusing Anecdotes from the Round Table http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1448-Amusing-Anecdotes-from-the-Round-Table Tue, 16 Nov 2010 16:35:55 GMT Since humor is important in our daily lives and most everyone on this forum probably has a funny experience they would like to share about a game... Since humor is important in our daily lives and most everyone on this forum probably has a funny experience they would like to share about a game they are playing or GM’ing in, I thought I would start this blog about humorous things that have happened. My goal is to put one a week to brighten everyone’s day. Please feel free to comment if you enjoy it or with your own comedic relief.

A friend of mine GM’s a very entertaining Traveller game. During one of the sessions, he starts of by telling us about his random name generator that he is very excited about. We encounter a not-so important NPC so he breaks out the name list. We all wait with baited breath for…..drum roll…..”James Taylor.” Unanimously, we exclaim, “WTH, all that for James Taylor!” After a good laugh, the session moved forward much to the enjoyment of everyone. ]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1448-Amusing-Anecdotes-from-the-Round-Table
Recruitment - Proverbs from the Abyss http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1443-Recruitment-Proverbs-from-the-Abyss Wed, 10 Nov 2010 22:08:41 GMT The game that I currently run has been through some changes over the past few months. First, I had to ask three folks to leave because of their drive... The game that I currently run has been through some changes over the past few months. First, I had to ask three folks to leave because of their drive and a defective vehicle which made them unreliable. However, there were no hurt feelings because they completely agreed about the reasoning even though the mix of the group was pretty good.

Lesson learned: Never assume that between three people there would be more than one car. Just like a job application ask: Do you have reliable transportation?

Then a friend and fellow gamer contacted me about this game and he worked in fantastically.

Lesson learned: Go with who you know. Nepotism is a GOOD thing when recruiting.

Not too long after, I happened upon a gaming board with someone in the area wanting to play Shadowrun and based on their profile they seemed to be a good match. Actually, I saw a few folks and contacted them and one person responded. Once I met with him, he seemed like an excellent match. When he played, he fit in wonderfully with the group.

Lesson learned: Just like in sales, make several contacts because only 10 percent will respond back.

Not long after, two more folks then contacted me about joining so I met with them. Because of their age difference and such, I had a hinky feeling that they just wouldn’t work. However, they seemed very enthused and I went against my better judgment because of that and because I didn’t want to be age biased. During the game they played with the group, it seemed to me to be quite obvious that they weren’t meshing. One guy barely said anything during play and kept running out talking on this cell phone. The other guy didn’t want to be part of the group, not a team player at all. Once they left a couple of players stated that “they were not team players.” As GM I suggested that we just rip the band-aid right off and called a vote to see who wanted to boot them out. All hands were raised. Luckily, those guys admitted that it wasn’t a match when I emailed them.

Lesson learned: Go with your gut instinct. You’ll save a lot of time and trouble in the end.

For the last team addition, a player’s fiancée wanted to join. Funny thing is when I met with him, she joined us about an hour or so into our talk. After a little I said to myself, “Too bad she plays in another group because she would make a great addition to our group.” After a few sessions, he tells me that she wants to join the group. To introduce her to the other players, we all go out to lunch and things go well. However, the one sharp question I asked because I had dealt with so much nonsense in the past from couples was: “If one of you can’t play, will the other attend?” Obviously, a couple will go on vacation or such and let me know well in advance which is completely fine. However, often enough, the wife/girlfriend stubs her toe and the husband/boyfriend must stay at home and attend. [Often I wondered if I was the only one who said, “I got my soup, Gatorade, Nyquil and Kleenex – now leave; and vice versa.) They both told me that it was absolutely not the case.

Lesson learned: Not every fan couple is attached at the hip but many are, so sort well.

Anyone else learn these lessons or others? ]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1443-Recruitment-Proverbs-from-the-Abyss
Chemistry....Rewarding unto itself http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1439-Chemistry-Rewarding-unto-itself Tue, 09 Nov 2010 22:08:16 GMT I LOVE IT WHEN A GROUP COMES TOGETHER! I have a group that role plays and meshes so well together that it warmed my little black GM heart. They were... I LOVE IT WHEN A GROUP COMES TOGETHER! I have a group that role plays and meshes so well together that it warmed my little black GM heart. They were joking with each other in character and completely had the team work angle going for the entire game. For about a half hour or more, I pulled several individuals out to give each magic user their vision quest and/or magical group’s assignment. During that entire time, the rest of the group stayed in character and role played. As each one got their quest, they discussed it with the other players. The non magical players got involved and wanted to figure what all the clues meant. [THAT IS SO REWARDING AS A GM TO KNOW THAT YOUR PLOTS HAVE INTRIGUED THEM THAT MUCH!]

BTW – The last mission wasn’t even a paying gig but something to get the magic users some powerful magic contacts and everyone agreed to it. Prior to that the group got a hold of a stash of weapons (no magic stuff in it) and the magic users who are in the majority suggested the others take all that they wanted to keep and then they could sell the rest of it and split it between the entire group.

NOW THAT IS CHEMISTRY!

Anyone have any chemistry tales to tell? Love to hear them. ]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1439-Chemistry-Rewarding-unto-itself
PC Backgrounds http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1430-PC-Backgrounds Sun, 31 Oct 2010 15:31:27 GMT In my humble opinion, there are three perspectives to character backgrounds: literary, player and GM. *_Literary:_* As a highly novice writer,... In my humble opinion, there are three perspectives to character backgrounds: literary, player and GM.

Literary: As a highly novice writer, every book on fiction writing will tell you to start with your characters. Characters make the story. Characters come in three parts: description, background and motivation. For physical description, I pull a picture and make sure my words reflect that picture. The other half of description is their personality: funny/serious, introvert/extrovert, smart/stupid, sophisticated/hick and so many more. For their background, their family life, profession, nationality and such should determine their skills, merits/flaws, language and the like. For motivation, why are they on this quest? That is the crux of the story to begin the plot. All of the above needs to be addressed to make a great background.

Player: Honestly, the background helps me to get into character and play it well – blame the LARPing and writing for that one. After the background is done, I match the character sheet to the background. My mathematician will have a high intelligence and math skill but not proficiency in the broad sword. Further, I think that in makes me more interested in the game. Most of all, writing backgrounds for me is just plain fun. On that note, if a GM ignores the background, it makes me less interested in the game. If they make it a point to destroy the background, it makes me walk away.

GM: As a GM before I truly incorporate a player’s background into the plot, I require them to attend three game sessions to prove their commitment and to ensure that our styles match before I go through that much trouble. However, as an immediate reward I give them extra character points to start with. Once that is said and done, I use the player’s background to motivate them.

To set up motivation, I will augment their background to include NPC’s and sometimes other PC’s. The more they give me, the more plot considerations I give them. The mysterious benefactor can be the NPC who’s bringing them together. Using the car accident that killed their parents, I will add clues in the police report to get them on board with finding the killer. I NEVER destroy a background nor drastically alter. I equate my changes to adding some side dishes to the main course. During game play, sometimes I’ll simply give the player a clue because their background warranted it.

Now that you’ve read my take, what do you folks as players and/or GM’s think of backgrounds? How do you use them? ]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1430-PC-Backgrounds
Matching Styles http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1428-Matching-Styles Thu, 28 Oct 2010 01:15:57 GMT Since things have gotten a little serious here, I thought I would lighten the mood a little. Anyhow… When searching for new games or more gamers... Since things have gotten a little serious here, I thought I would lighten the mood a little. Anyhow…

When searching for new games or more gamers for your own game, there are the basic cut and dry questions concerning: date, time and game system. Then there are the qualifications most GM’s want in players: sane, reliable etcetera.

Lastly, we come to the very ambiguous style matching. For that I asked two questions. First, I ask the combat ratio they like to see if it matches my GM’ing style. I found if we’re within 10 or so percent of each other, we’re a match.

The next thing I ask is if you could choose three different TV shows, movies or books that would equate to actual games that you would want to play in what would they be? Mine as a GM are: Sherlock Holmes, Supernatural and Leverage.

Other things I try to incorporate many from writing: description which I throw clues into, unusual plot elements including PC subplots and of course fun.

Just curious to see what other folks would answer. If you could choose three different TV shows, movies or books that would equate to actual games that you would want to play in what would they be? ]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1428-Matching-Styles
Etiquettely Challenged Versus Etiquettely Wonderful http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1412-Etiquettely-Challenged-Versus-Etiquettely-Wonderful Wed, 13 Oct 2010 20:57:51 GMT Etiquettely Challenged I read some gaming horror stories so I guess I will add to it. as a gamer, whenever I go to someone else’s home, I obey...
Etiquettely Challenged

I read some gaming horror stories so I guess I will add to it. as a gamer, whenever I go to someone else’s home, I obey their house rules and always bring something to share. Since one of the games I attend has long sessions, I typically buy a bag of burgers for everyone.

Since things are a little tight this month, I baked chicken nuggets and brought them to the game. The host asked what brand they were so I told her. For the next five minutes I was lectured on how cruelly that brand treated their chickens. This by someone who eats meat and seeing the brands in their kitchen does NOT buy free range/roaming meat. I was APPALLED. Not five minutes before, her husband tells me to check the fridge for my favorite soda. That was soooo NICE. It was for that reason, I didn’t walk out.

Just as an FYI, for my game that I host, I always make a meal be it typically a one dish wonder along with a dessert. To boot, I send leftovers home to the aforementioned folks.

How this relates to my original GTOT blog – The person who offended is the person who can’t stay in character but for a minute or two every hour. I liked the suggestion about hanging out outside of game to ease that issue but now I’m not so sure about this person. Am I overly sensitive?

Etiquettely Wonderful

To end this on a positive note, the group that I GM for are FANTASTIC folks. I post what I am serving for a meal with dessert. I have a couple of vegetarians so a make a meatless something along with the main which I don’t mind at all. Everyone volunteers to bring something even before they know about the luck cards. One player even came over early and cooked (they love to cook) to relieve me of the meal part. When I mentioned how much I hate cleaning, everyone made it a point to take five minutes after the game ended and completely cleaned the gaming area, including dropping the recycles in the bin and putting up dishes.

That ROCKS!

Side note – When folks bring food to share, I give them a Luck Card. I purchased a deck of playing cards and printed out an Indian symbol and glued one to each card which all cost next to nothing. The player can cash them in just like Edge in Shadowrun (re-roll a failed roll, get out of death free etc). This idea came from a former GM who goes by Tylyndel on these forums but she used a poker chip. ]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1412-Etiquettely-Challenged-Versus-Etiquettely-Wonderful
The Cards of Doom http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1403-The-Cards-of-Doom Mon, 04 Oct 2010 01:38:46 GMT Currently, I’m GMing a Shadowrun game and the team is transporting a cursed object. To spice it up, I made 20 things that can go wrong on a road trip... Currently, I’m GMing a Shadowrun game and the team is transporting a cursed object. To spice it up, I made 20 things that can go wrong on a road trip in the Shadowrun world and wrote them on 3x5 cards. Because of the fact that it was a cursed object made all the cards bad things but in different degrees. Then I numbered them 1-20. An appointed player would roll a D20 to see what happened next. Whatever they rolled would get them that numbered card. The fact that the GM and the players didn’t know what would happen next made it interesting and surprising.

This is something that I have used in the passed specifically in a dark ages or old fantasy type setting where travel takes a long time and magical, crazy or just weird stuff can happen. I would make cards of good things and cards of bad things. Then I would classify according to a settings like Lake, Ocean, Mountain, Prairie, Forests, Town and anything else I could think of. To keep it organized, I put them in a recipe card index Ocean under O, Lake under L and so on. Depending on the setting, a random card would be drawn and we would see what happened next.

Sometimes when something good would happen though, they would ignore it and run. Paranoia runs deep with the cards of doom.

What to you think of the cards of doom or the cards of the unexpected? Does anyone else have similar? ]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1403-The-Cards-of-Doom
Gaming, Tennis or Tea http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1401-Gaming-Tennis-or-Tea Tue, 28 Sep 2010 21:51:25 GMT Now my comments are not about the game that I am running because folks stay in character pretty well but there is a game that I play in where that... Now my comments are not about the game that I am running because folks stay in character pretty well but there is a game that I play in where that is NOT the case. The system we play is my favorite so yes I want to stay in character. Sure, when I arrive at the game, I'm good to chat for awhile, take a break or two during, and certainly chat afterwards. However, this particular group won't stay in character for more than five minutes at a time and that's generous.

Finally, recently, I said look, "Are we just not meshing here? From the GM, I hear "I can always GM something else if no one wants to play." My response - This is my favorite game but I won't speak for anyone else at the table. Side bar - That lead me to believe that the GM really isn't putting forth much effort or running a canned campaign. My reasoning.... Currently, I'm running a campaign in a different system that's not canned and I'm putting forth great effort and its going to be long term. If someone were to just up and suggest another game instead, I would have many colorful adjectives to respond to that because I have put forth a bunch of effort.

Another player said that they were fine with just getting together and chatting instead of gaming. To which, I responded with "sure." Not that I wouldn't mind chatting with this other player over tea but when I write a background, put forth a character sheet and lug all my gaming stuff for/to said game, I wanna game. To just chat, I don't want to put forth all the aforementioned effort. I'll meet them for coffee or something and put forth my $2 which I have done in the past with other gaming friends and still do.

With the second point, maybe I missed something because I equate it to this: Years ago when I was an avid tennis player, my tennis buddies and I would meet for a movie or gossip and we did. However, when we met on the tennis court with our gear and court time that we paid for, we played tennis. We didn't even keep score since we were friends. We just played to improve our skills. There was no question of doing anything else.

Does anyone else feel as I do? Have similar experiences? Or Did I miss the memo?

Not trying to be a negative nelly but gorrammit, I had to get this off my chest. Also, I just realized that I miss tennis. I may not be John McEnroe (though I can curse like him if provoked) but I had fun and my legs were tan. ]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1401-Gaming-Tennis-or-Tea
Turning Tricks http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1394-Turning-Tricks Wed, 22 Sep 2010 01:39:05 GMT Ha! Ha! I thought the name would get snap folks awake..Anyhow its GM Tricks of the Trade I have a few tricks and shortcuts that I thought I would... Ha! Ha! I thought the name would get snap folks awake..Anyhow its GM Tricks of the Trade
I have a few tricks and shortcuts that I thought I would share. Please share your own and let me know what you think. For all of you who leave and have left comments, I thank you for your support.
Floor Plans
Three cheap options to avoid drawing them yourself:
Buy an architectural magazine – my fave and costs about $4
Clearance game books – no matter what the system, a floorplan is a floorplan
Websites: http://www.houseplans.com/
http://www.amazingplans.com/
http://www.buildingplans.com/
Commercial buildings
http://www.stocktondesign.com/plans
http://www.rebackoffice.com/floor_plans.html
Names
The website below lets you search boy/girl and/or origin and meaning.
http://babyfit.sparkpeople.com/baby-names.asp
Pictures for NPCs
Magazines work for the paper pushers.
http://www.jurgita.com/
]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1394-Turning-Tricks
The Lost Art of Roleplaying http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1383-The-Lost-Art-of-Roleplaying Wed, 15 Sep 2010 00:14:35 GMT I must preface this by saying that I love the roleplay aspect of gaming the most. It takes me to a world where I don't need to worry about work, mortgage payments, taxes and other problems. I equate it to being in in a movie of sorts. Does anyone else feel that way?

Sometimes I think roleplay is a lost art. Folks won't do any type of extraneous roleplay or break character a lot so they can't immerse themselves in the world while other players try. To promote better role play, I downloaded some pictures as noted below and taped them to 3 x 5 cards with the point values on the back. I planned to give them to the players after a two sessions which is intended to be very roleplay heavy. Please let me know what you think.

The Depp Award for Best Characterization – Inspired by Johnny Depp (Cpt Jack Sparrow) : 10 - # of instances the PC breaks character and is awarded to the person who stayed in character the most.

The South Park Award for Amusing the GM – Since GM’ing can be a thankless task, I give 3 pts for this.

The Carlin Award Best Comedic Performance – Inspired by George Carlin, this is worth 2 pts.

The Golden Shovel for Best Bull S’er – This is worth 3 pts since BS’ing is actually great roleplaying.

The Hoover Award for Best Sucking Up – One point for the brown noser.

The Pitt Award for Best Character – Brad Pitt as the Pikey in Snatch was incredible. This is worth 3 to 5 pts based on how well the PC portrays the character they have written up, possibly by playing up merits/flaws and speaking with an accent.

The Shatner Award for Over Dramatizing – Cpt Kirk rocked but maybe the PC needs some acting classes so only 1 pt.

The Pacino Award for Best Bad Guy Moment – In Scarface, the line “Say hello to my little friend,” endures so 1 pt.

The Betty Award for Most Embarrasing Moment – Based on the show Ugly Betty, this award goes for the party fowl. The player gets 2 pts instead of 1 to make them feel better.

The Doris Day Award for Cheeriest Moment – The PC gets 2 pts for spreading the joy.

The Crimson Heart for Best Flirtation – Two points because sex sells.

The Wooden Paddle Award for Best Disciplining – Only 1 pt since the player has had their fun.

The OJ Award for Getting Away With It – Only 1 pt since the player has already gotten away with something.

The Stewie Griffin Award for Best Manipulation – Only 1 pt since the player conned someone into something.

The Holly Golightly Award for Most Fashionable – Inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany’s, for the player who put some thought into their style since at times we must dress for success.

The James Dean Award for Playing It Cool – One point for a cool head and a calm heart.

The House Award for the Grouchiest Scene – Inspired by Dr. House, the player gets one point for House moment.

The Father Jack Hackett Award for the Most Outlandish Moment – In the British TV series Father Ted, Father Jack is nuts. 2 pts. This youtube clip says it all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzMEZ7ZlUVA

The Jay and Silent Bob Award for Best Duet – For roleplaying with a fellow PC, 2 pts each.

]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1383-The-Lost-Art-of-Roleplaying
When It Rains, It Pours - The Art of Delegating GM Duties http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1362-When-It-Rains-It-Pours-The-Art-of-Delegating-GM-Duties Wed, 08 Sep 2010 00:44:15 GMT Until recently, I had such a hard time finding players that I got used to GM'ing for only a few. Well, suddenly it exploded and I found myself GM'ing for a large group. My games have an overall large plot but I also like to drill it down to subplots to motiviate each PC. However, with a large group I couldn't give the PC's such attention. To do so and not deal with the statistical details and increase player involvement, I came up with some jobs titles to delegate the responsibilities. This also will let you roleplay more with your PC's and keep the game flowing.

If anyone likes them or can add to it, please let me know. BTW - This is my first blog, article and advice that I have submitted.

Company Clerk or Scribe: Basically, someone who keeps detailed notes on the session and post them electronically within one week of the game and sooner if possible. Separately, they email the GM a Word copy of it. This would be worth 1 xp per session per 500 words. A typical session runs 1000 words.
Quartermaster or Armorer: The person who tracks equipment including the stats of the equipment the team owns and knows what those stats mean. Inviduals will still be required to track their personal equipment but the QM can help them if they need it. This is one point per session attended since the need will fluctuate from great to nill at times. Whoever gets quartermaster can’t have the Company Clerk position.
Contact Manager: This person will track all the NPC contacts the team meets to include the person on the team that has the primary relationship with that NPC. They will detail the specialties and skills this person has, their loyalty rating, location and other pertinant information. 1 xp per contact. This position does NOT rotate.
Accountant. This will NOT be rotating. This person tracks the team’s money and the other players. It may sound like more work than it really is but this has to be done on an Excel spreadsheet . The GM should specify format, usually Excel. This is worth 1 xp per session attended.
Concierge: Thisshould be rotating. This position involves coordinating snacks and if necessary instruct folks and what to bring. The concierge will be responsible for coordinated the clean-up and ensuring the gaming area gets back to its original state. They don’t have to do all the clean-up just direct it. The position can combine with others. This will be worth 1 xp per session.
***The Contact Manager, Accountant and Quartermaster are separate and cannot be the Company Clerk do to time and attention constraints during the sessions unless no one else wants to do it that session. Also, this will keep a better balance for xp opportunities. ]]>
Blond Gamer Girl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1362-When-It-Rains-It-Pours-The-Art-of-Delegating-GM-Duties