Looking to become the next game master or dungeon master for your friends? Then let’s help you get your first game off the ground!
Before starting on your notes, you will want to figure out what kind of adventure you want to run. Do you want to use a campaign guide? Or do you want to homebrew a world?
If you want to use a campaign guide, check out the different guides available for your RPG. This option is great if you want a bit more of a pick and play option. Just make sure to take a few hours before each game to go over what the players may encounter based on their situation.
If you want to homebrew… well, the world is your oyster. Start anywhere. Want to name all the continents first? Do it. Going to make up all the maps first? Do it. Want to name each grain of sand in a vast desert? Sure, why not? Just be aware that it is going to take a lot more time to prep this kind of game.
No matter what kind of campaign you want to run, you will want to make sure you want to have some notes. These notes should cover a number of different areas.
Who are the important characters your players may interact with?
Who are the key figures of the campaign? What do they look like? What are their motives? It is key to have this information on hand so you can make sure that you are giving players correct information about a social encounter.
What does the scenery looks like?
What does the space look like? Writing out what a space looks like can be a great help when you are caught in the moment having to describe a location. Write it down ahead of time and add however much flourish you would like. When it comes time to recite the description, your players will be in awe.
Random NPC and Location Tables
No matter what you do, you are always going to have NPCs you never dreamed of showing up in your game. Having a list of names to choose from is greatly helpful in those moments of NPC improv, making it seem you knew about this character all along…
Now it’s time to run the game. You’ve got your research, your books, your notes – now what?
Running the game is the one true job of being a dungeon master, but also the job that people often feel the most worried about. The key to running any game are two rules: ‘the rule of cool’ and ‘yes, and…’.
Simply put, the rule of cool is if a player tries something that is so unexpected, so over the top crazy that it might just work… reduce the DC a bit. See if their antics pay off. If they succeed, then they have an awesome moment they are going to remember forever. If they still botch the roll, then they have a tragic miss that could end up even funnier than what they were initially trying to do.
The yes, and rule is a fundamental improv rule. Whenever a player asks to do something (as long as it is even slightly in the realm of possibility), then let them try it. The DC might be crazy high, but who knows? You may have heard another version of this rule – you can certainly try.
Now, get out there adventurer – become the Dungeon Master you were always destined to be!
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We’ve all heard the stories before. There are playlists on YouTube and Reddit communities dedicated to those RPG and board game players. Always quick act, ready to back stab NPCs and PCs alike – just for the joy or coin of it.
They have their names – the edgelords, the Mary Sue’s, the lone wolves. They’re dangerous to any party because they can destroy an entire game by trying to control the circumstances.
How do you not end up as one of these creatures? Let me tell you a few tricks that will help you out.
This would should be obvious, but it can sometimes slip the mind. You are working in a party. Help each other out. Don’t go running out on your own to be a badass. You are just going to get yourself killed and have to re-roll a new character.
Some players won’t acknowledge their party at first, suggesting they are more the desperado-type. If this is pivotal to your characters back story, you can have it in there. Just make sure that you find a reason to be willing to work with the party. If you can’t find a reason, perhaps this character should be saved for a different adventure.
No matter your back story, background, anything – just make sure your character has a reason for being with the party. Otherwise, they will very quickly be out of it.
With any kind of RPG, you get what you put into it. As a DM, this means prepping sessions, coming up with plot hooks and adventures. DM’s have their work cut out for them in the beginning, but that doesn’t mean that players get to fly under the radar.
For players, you have to be willing to put in the time to help get your character invested in the game. Who amongst the party do they hang out with? How do they get along with others? Having scenes amongst yourself in the group is a great way to develop your character and find out who they really are.
Also, please, for everything holy in this world, take notes. It will save you a lot of headaches later.
Some players are very resistant to plot hooks. They will reject a plot hook by saying ‘my character doesn’t care about this‘, or ‘this isn’t something my character would be invested in.‘ This is the mark of either a new player or someone who wants to tell their own story.
If the DM offers a plot hook for you, then take it. Find a reason to want it. If you are currently running after something else, then it’s totally fine to reject it. However, if you are given a story hook by the DM, there is more than likely a good reason for it.
Not all plot hooks need to be played the same way. If it is a straight forward plot hook, then maybe there is a character aspect you haven’t explored yet that would make your character take a chance. If the plot hook is opposite to your character’s ideals or thoughts, then perhaps an opportunity for betrayal is afoot. Discuss it in-game with your party. Perhaps there is a member of your group that is holding a secret that gets addressed in this story. Maybe it is something seemingly small that will grow and reveal itself to be a larger conspiracy.
Never look away from a plot hook – you never know when it’s going to stab you in the back.
The biggest difficulty you hear about player characters is that they are resistant to change. Mary Sue’s and edgelord’s constantly believe they know their character inside and out, and no one will tell them otherwise.
Here’s the problem – people change. Characters change. Stagnate characters offer nothing.
Be open to change in the game. Perhaps an event will change your character’s mind about an event or personal aspect about themselves. When someone brings up a back story event, have a chat with them. Learn more about your fellow PCs. You never know how your character might change for the better – or worse.
If you ever confused about something, ask. Don’t be worried or nervous – your DM or fellow players are there to help back you up. An adventure is hardly ever accomplished alone. If you want more of a world question, ask as you character. That way, you can distance yourself from the question if you are nervous about asking.
In the end, no matter what monster your facing or what trial is ahead of you, everyone at the table is there to help. It is better for everyone if you are all on the same page.
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Throughout sci-fi and fantasy media, the villains have often been heralded as some of the cleverest explorations of evil in popular fiction. In Cyberpunk, we find ourselves an eerily familiar world of corporate greed, power, and corruption, and the villains follow suit. But with so many gangs and prominent figures, it can be hard to know how to play which ones, or what to do with certain factions.
Luckily for you, I have compiled the most iconic villains from the source material and categorized them in a way everyone can best understand them – as Yearbook Superlatives.
You know those right? The questions like Most Likely To Cure Cancer, or Most Likely to Get Famous, back when such dreams were thought possible instead of… well, whatever we’re living in now.
So, with this in mind, let’s dive into the world of Cyberpunk, and search through the darkest reaches of Night City to in search of pure evil…
Arasaka is the rich-preppy kid to a tee. Born from family money, Arasaka is constantly dressed to the nines. Head of the debate team, student body president, honor roll – and you better bet your bottom dollar that Arasaka is going to be giving that Valedictorian speech come graduation day. Everyone always wonders – ‘How does Arasaka do it?’
Arasaka may look like the golden child, but the trouble is that most rich kids are a seething ball of hate and fear on the inside, and will kill you and your whole family just for the thrill of it. Just to feel something again, because god damn it, having everything you could ever want leaves you needing to feel want again.
When playing Cyberpunk, cloak and dagger are the best methods when acting on the part of Arasaka. A great part of the Arasaka Corporation is that most things they do are technically legal. Arasaka can perform absolutely awful acts and get away with it by lack of association, legal technicalities, etc. Then, if the law is getting in the way, then just throw money at the issue. That usually fixes things.
This is all, of course, total fantasy. Major corporations in our world have never done any of this.
Militech is the worst of the bullies. They walk around, looking for any kind of trouble to get involved in, and then throw themselves at it with all their might and fury. Most of the time, these kids would get some form of punishment from parents or teachers, and hopefully be led down a better path.
Trouble is – what happens when the kids can beat the teachers to death, then get paid for it?
Militech is a rich person’s dream. Need private security for a public event? Militech can do it. Need something handled that is less than legal? Someone in Militech can do it – for an extra price, of course. Arasaka loves Militech because it makes all the cloak and dagger stuff so much easier.
When playing as Militech, feel free to be have fun with the power dynamics both within and outside of Militech. Perhaps some security officers are more noble than others. Others could be working just for the money, so things like ‘morals’ are secondary to their other desires. Or just go guns blazing, with an entire Militech contingent willing to jump into a situation and kill anything in their way. Just have fun with it.
To be honest, I don’t have an introduction to these guys. Bozos are just terrifying. These are people who got cybernetic surgery INTENTIONALLY TO LOOK LIKE CLOWNS. Just to be able to prank people as a gang.
Well, I guess that depends on if you consider assault, murder, and mass chaos as ‘pranks’.
The Bozo gang is best played as… just absolute chaos. Most of the members of the Bozos gang have developed some level of cyberpsychosis, thus resulting in delusions and other forms of advanced madness. Be cautious when taking this genre of villain to any kind of game – mental illness can be a triggering subject for some players – but it can be an interesting look at the concept of destruction and chaos for chaos sake.
Not unlike another clown you may know…
Know anymore Cyberpunk gangs and enemies that deserve to be in this yearbook? Leave your notable mentions down below!
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