The other side of game day prep

Snacks for game dayBesides getting the actual game ready, there is always the question of snacks and the other logistics. For example we have had more snow this year than we have ever had before, so shoveling the walk is a concern not on a usual day. This saturday we will be snacking on giant d20’s out of jello.

We need to grab some protein rich snacks and get out a lot of blankets. It is going to be super cold outside Saturday and we will need some energy without over-binging on carbs.

Notes for Campaigns

I am finding it hard to organize things for all the little games going on. There are more intermittant games than I have ever run before all with the possibility of picking up at random notice. I have been looking at a few tools and think I am going to try a disc bound notebook. All the benefits of a spiral bound animg_0890d 3 ring binder. Specifically I will start with two, current and archive. Since all the pages are movable and I can intermix lined paper, dot grid, graph etc. It should help with the sprawl of paper I am dealing with now.

The other thing that will help it to make some template of game session logs to organize my otherwise sprawling notes. It worked well when I was managing one player in a pathfinder game, I just need to adapt the concept for DM/GM tracking of info. Once I get that I will post it up here. Any things you use for campaign management?

Character Art

Colored.pngI really like visuals in a game. Sometimes that means drawing something, or finding art on deviant art or pinterest etc.

I recently got a bunch of cheap copic marker knockoffs (the real things are way to spendy for me). My wife has an elven ranger so I grabbed a lineart from deviantart, printed it, and colored it. It is fun to have character art. While I wish I could draw it, this is a close second. A different activity.

Original is here

Session Prep

211elemsymbolsI only got back into gaming in the last few years and I find that I am in need of tighter session prep. Years of ideas in your head can get you through the first few years of playing, but then things become complicated when you start getting full fledged campaigns finally going strong and a lot more to manage.

We are doing another session of Princes of the Apocalypse (5th edition dungeons and dragons) this comming saturday and I really need to get some things straight in my head. Something that would really be helpful for my graphical mind is to have an outline/flowchart. Also to have a quick one pager for NPC’s and each dungeon.  The adventure as written is great to read, but a lot to maintain and run when there are 30 NPC’s in the town and first two dungeons to keep straight. Keeping everything relevant on one or two sheets of paper is critical to run fast.

The good news for anyone running such a flagship adventure is that a lot of DM’s have done the dirty work of compiling a lot of info. While I still might mind-map relationships of some things as the act of writing things down helps me remember them, it should shorten the prep time of the adventure and then I can focus on the maps and possibly dungeon tiles.

Resource List:

Sometimes it is tricky

So my nephew and son wanted a game. They wanted to play a rouge an17158-thumb140.jpgd sorcerer in 5th edition. With almost no notice and prep time I felt it was messy to run something, however they seemed to enjoy it.

When dealing with two soft and sqishy characters, and when they really wanted to fight was tricky. Several moments of near death, a bit of dice fudging and monsters who decided to cut their losses instead of deal with the PC’s that much saved their lives. I should really have a couple short things prepared for when they want to play “right now.” I think I should prep B2 Keep on the Borderlands, It has been forever since I reviewed that adventure, but would work well I think.

 

Ladybug and Chat Noir

I find it helpful to have new players base their first character after one they like from fiction.

3994a65621c4aaa128281025f667ae42Legolas an example of being a common archetype, but many others are easily made into first level characters. Whole forum topics are dedicated to it.

Recently my kids and wife have begun playing and wanted characters based on Ladybug and Chat Noir. We are using two 5e homebrew archetypes.

Ladybug is a Warlock with a custom patron, the lady of luck. (written by /u/Polydeuces) Chat Noir an Acrobat Rouge archetype (written by Donald Stelling) Time will tell how balanced these end up being.

In another game my son is playing Lina Inverse from the sorceres of the anime Slayers. She is an Arcane bloodline sorcerer in pathfinder. He is enjoying the build.

Most magical girls are warlocks of a sort with an animal companion instead of an object  related to the pact, there is definately a lot that can be done there with altering the flavour of the eldritch blast to fit the character. Aqua Shine from Sailor Mercury, gun fire from Mami Tomoe or Yo-yo attacks by Ladybug could all be mechanically the same as Eldritch blast but provide a great image to the character.

Current Games

img_0890So I feel things are a bit scatterbrained with my campaigns at the moment. Here is what I am currently(ish) running.

As a Dungeon/Game Master

Rise of the Runelords (Pathfinder Published adventure): A Monthly 8 hour day. we are actually running family/friends  through this game and are running two tables concurrently at the same location.

Princes of the Apocalypse (5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons): Started with my wife and son each playing to characters. Our second session my son dropped to onw character and we added my Brother and his wife in. No real defined schedule.

Time of the Bellflower (Home world, 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons): Started with my wife, my son, two nephews and once a niece. Currently on Hold.

The Dragon Scepter (Home world, 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons): a campaign that went a couple months and put on hold for Christmas, it came to conclusion of the first arc and we need to evaluate if we continue or do a different game. I was running this every other week for a friend, his two sons and my son.

As a player:

Case of the Crystal Flappy Bird (Not a real title, homebrew, 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons): This campaign was started by my brother but stalled. He had a cow. Literally, he got a new country lot and bought a milk cow. It may never be revived but was fun.

Egil Fon (Pathfinder Society Character): Used on occasional con’s

As a Writer:

I have 3 adventures I want to get cohesive and put up online.

  • Spire on the Mountain Lake (Town/Sandbox)
  • The Colorless Pool (Elves and Dwarves have a mining dispute)
  • Garden of the Jeweled Tree