Saturday, August 27, 2011

Late GM Badges

Yup, it's my turn.  I was in line to do this, but I got in the wrong line and actually ended up getting tickets to the Air Supply/Peach n' Herb reunion concert.  Stuart over at Strange Magic created these fantastic GM merit badges.  I really dig them.  Thanks Stuart, they are cool.  Here is my Hurricane Irene entry.  I hope it finds all you gamers in her path safe and dry.

Character death is a definite possibility in my game as I wrote in recent post.  I just not sure how to GM a game where PCs are throwing themselves into they fray and not have it be a possibility.  But more important my players like the tension of this risk in my games.

I like a mind bending disturbing content.  I never go into details about content like rape or anything to do with children, but in many of my games innocents are often victims.  A whole village may be killed and tortured, but I won't describe it.  But I so imply what horrible things have happened.

Drama.  Got to have it.  Tension between the environment, another person or group and one self is what makes a game world alive.  I think it is critical to have a balance of the three in game although one will always take center stage at any given moment.

Okay, I am not a full out gonzo ref.  I guess you could call me gonzo light.  I like a down and dirty game with a lot of weirdness to it.  Elements that may not fit into a system, but add an element of the unexpected.

Oh yeah, this is me all the way.  I make shit up as I go all the time.  I do like to have a loose outline of possible events during a game, but everything else is up to the players and my whimsy.  I often come up with better ideas and connections to events without thinking too much about them.

This one kind of goes with the above.  If the players are discussing what 'something could be' and its way cooler than what I thought of hell yeah I am stealing it.  They need to be like those football coaches on the sidelines covering their mouths while they talk if they don't want me listen.

Mystery.  A good mystery is always a fantastic element to add to the game.  Where there are so many rules and all the monsters that everyone has memorized and knows all their powers, it's great to add some mystery into a game.  To me it's the difference between a good game and a great one.

I like to give my players a lot of responsibility in my game.  Especially in character creation and in story development.  Sometimes if I don't have something scripted I tell them to make it up and then it become part of the campaign canon.

Scary.  I think this one is tough to achieve in some ways because of the issues I mentioned with the mystery.  Everyone pretty much has the all the rule books memorized.  Really the best way to achieve this any more is to create something yourself.  And allow the players watch from the safe distance as a red shirt experiences it first.  Or just keep it just out of view.

I like tactics in combat to give it a little more depth than just rolling dice.  I like options.  A combat should be its own story and may have several ups and downs in it also.  A good fight is a work of art.

And last, but not the least, but in my games probably one of the most important, Story.  It combines everything above into an ongoing adventure narrative that if done correctly will have your players boring other players with its retelling for years to come. 

Again thanks to Stuart for creating these badges.  They were fun to play with.  Now I have to find those player badges.  Although I think Ark's was the best.  That one cracked me up.


  1. Very nice set of badges -- sounds like a set of elements that blend well together.

  2. You're welcome, and it's been really interesting seeing everyone sharing this information about their GMing style. :)

  3. Aww thanks. I'll think of you next time I'm cross-dressing, Tim. I mean, um, DMing. Yeah.

    - Ark

  4. I think we have similar tastes in gameplay. Especially the 'scary' and the 'mystery' elements. Cool badges!

  5. Interesting selection. I'm pretty sure I'd be happy playing in your world. Your post has inspired me to get off my hum and post my own selection. So thanks!

  6. Where do you get those badges, by the way?

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  8. Hi Shannon, the merit badges are originally posted

    Strange Magic: GM Merit Badges

    I have also uploaded the set with separated images and a handy Badge Matrix to my blog here:

    Elthos Blog: GM Merit Badges