GM Struggles

Struggles, wins and losses of a gamer

Tag Archives: Wins

Getting ready! Two Purchases

So, I have been a while without posting, have been mostly reading things and preparing myself to run the, since my game is composed of Pirates, I need to get source material and ideas into my brain, to make the game really be about that and also, to be able to give them fitting ideas on the fly.

Just now I placed an order on for two general books, I have mostly gone digital but somethings are hard to leave behind, so when it comes down to the system book, maps and resources like names I prefer print over digital. The books I purchased are:

1. Story Games Name Project, a book that collects names to be used for your game, the idea and work in making the compilation was by Jason Morningstar. I really need to make sure I got fitting names at a game table and even more when my players have the guts to name an elf warlock Miguel… when I asked the player to choose a more fitting one he changed it… to Miguelel.

2. Dyson’s Delves Limited Edition is a book with maps and ready to use dungeons by Dyson, a great artist that I have been following through RPG Bloggers and RPG  Blog Alliance Network. His maps and dungeons are cool and evocative and I want to show him my appreciation and support too, so everyone wins. If you want to check out his maps and other stuff check out his blog at and see how much stuff is there for free, if you got some spare money and wanna help him though, do as I did.

Meanwhile I have been sharing some stuff about my current game (powered by Dungeon World) at the Story Games Forums, selflessly collecting their wisdom, advice and tips to make the game better in any way I can.


Save vs Death or Safe from Death

Minifig Characters #6: Death

Minifig Characters #6: Death (Photo credit: minifig)

“It’s completely OK to run games where you flat out tell people “Your characters in this game will not die unless you do something immensely stupid or you say out loud that you’re willing to take the risk”.

Saves a lot of hassle.”

From: user KemperBoyd

This is an interesting take to things. I always thought there is no real reason for conflict if there is no risk of death, but truth is, conflict has meaning if failure means something. Death is just the end of a good character, of a personal story, it might be the appropriate failure, sure, but it is hardly the one and only meaningful choice or good story one can tell.

The way I see it, it is always hard to keep a game fun and interesting if we focus on a single option, this is the stuff railroading is bad for, if a single plot, a single way of bypassing, a single ending is all you got, then your game lacks possibility right? Same goes for death. The very same thread has some other very good advice that elaborates on this general idea:

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Dice are random right? riiiiight…

I have two opposite players in my table, they are friends, they enjoy much of the same thing, they game well together, but whenever they pick up the dice, things go south fast for one and heavenly well for the other. Sounds unlikely right? Ina  recent game one of my friends was GMing, we were all playing newly awakened mages in a Mage game.

During our training, he informed us, we would make different tests and he would have the results stored, he recorded the amount of successes from each player and made some kickstarter-like rewards that were unlocked the higher our number of successes. I don’t have the exact numbers (though he has them in excel) but it was something like this:

  • Standard Success Rate in NWoD ruleset: 30% (7-10 on a  d10)
  • Lucky Guy success rate: 60%
  • Player A: 35%
  • Player B: 33%
  • Me (my rolls are like proof of statistics): 30%
  • Unlucky Guy: 20%

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