Tag Archives: gm advice

Why I’m Cool with Phones During Games

A lot of people hate on phones at the game table, and to some degree I get that. But every time I hear someone talk about how they

Two Crucial GM Skills: Listening and Celebrating

We’re in the middle of convention season, and I’ve been thinking a lot lately about convention GMing. I’ll talk briefly about two skills that we could all use constant reminders about as con GMs (and GMs in general): listening and celebrating. Listening Listening is, surprisingly to some, a hard skill to master. Improv teaches you

Telling Players the Obvious

Last week at MisCon, one of the panels I was on was titled “Guerilla Warfare in RPGs.” How do you GM a resistance-based game where the PCs must fight a guerilla campaign against established, entrenched bad guys? Can they sleep safely in the woods at night, sustain themselves by hunting and gathering, and gain the

Using UA Passions to Develop Depth

During the Moral Ambiguity in Gaming panel at NorWesCon, the charismatic Clinton J. Boomer — a fellow Unknown Armies fan — made a great point about creating characters of depth using some ideas from UA: specifically, the three passions. This came from a conversation about how everyone is the hero of their own internal story, and no one self-identifies

Simple DRYH GM Trick: Modifiers

One of the interesting things about Don’t Rest Your Head is the GM dynamic. 90% of the GM’s decisions points & influence are narrative, as there’s only one mechanic to immediately press: how much Pain dice is rolled in a moment. Normally, that’s determined by the sort of threat you have in play (or, if

The Cardinal Rule of Horror: Cheat

As the last post on Horror Week, let’s get into some GM talk. It’s all good and well to design a horror game — really, it’s fun! — but the heart of the horror game is the same as in any game: the performance.  The playing. The GMing. And my Cardinal Rule of Horror: Cheat.