Bringing it all together #dnd

A well rounded DM is a good DM.  The amount of information you can glean from other systems is invaluable to making the best game you can and the most entertaining adventure for yourself and your players.  In this spirit I offer some very helpful systems that have given me some of my best ideas:

Old D&D editions: Dusty smelling old books, often surprisingly lovingly cared for by their owners despite the many colorful tabs marking classes, skills, races and favorite monsters.  Reading through these old manuals can provide an awe-inspiring glimpse into the birthplace of millions of people’s favorite hobby.  From original social interactions, demographics, spell effects, and even environments, these books are fantastic resources for a learning or studying DM.

World of Darkness: Some people find them campy, hokey, even in extreme cases, lame.  I’m honestly one of them. However no matter how ridiculous a system (or the people who play it) is, there can be good in it.  The vampire system of social dynamics and hierarchy is fantastic, and the mage system of backlash for crazy spells is a great way to keep your spellcasters in check while giving them freedom in their arcane arts. The werewolf spirituality is also a great example, easily worked into clerics and priests.

Dresden Files: This has got to be one of the best new systems I’ve seen, especially from a storytelling standpoint.  The free-form storytelling aspect of this system is phenomenal, and I particularly like the group world building they have built into character and story creation, it really helps make the world feel real to the players.

Gamma World: Wacky fun is this. The random character generation tables are fantastic for mutants in future games and dimension-jumper games, and the single-use powers are a great idea for treasures such as charged wands and temporary boons.

D20 (Modern/Future/Past): These books are quintessential for time traveling, space games, zombie apocalypse, and well, almost everything you can think of.

Quintessential [Blank]: These books expound on the various races and classes, giving them flesh, blood, spirit and fire.  Besides hitting everything you already know about fighters, dwarves, elves and thieves, these books open into a whole new world of information, feats, skills, sub-races and sub-classes that make games much more engaging and detailed.

Exalted: This system shows what epic level is really all about from the get-go. We’re talking petal to the metal heroism here. If you’re running short on ideas for an epic or even paragon game, read one of these books and let the brainstorm begin.

I’m sorry if I left anyone out, but just like anything else, if you want to get better you need to study, practice, perfect, study again. Being a DM is an ongoing job, and just like life you can’t just sit in one place and expect to keep up.


~ by darkpatu on September 1, 2011.

One Response to “Bringing it all together #dnd”

  1. I’ve heard dozens upon dozens of people mention the Dresden Files game, and in particular the collaborative worldbuilding. Since worldbuilding is one of my favorite parts of GMing, I find the idea a little difficult to get used to. However, I must admit that if so many people are behind it, it must be worth checking out.

    Have you had the opportunity to check out Traveler? Their character generation system is unique in that you don’t create the character in their present form, but rather you make life choices for them, roll some dice, and the character is created through life experiences.

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