Tag Archive: Blog

Dec 15 2015

She’s a Super Geek: Heroine & Fake Facts – Emily on Senda

sasgeek2withtextHey Folks, Chris here. Phil and I were fortunate enough to be invited onto the She’s a Super Geek podcast to play Heroine by Josh Jordan and those episodes started coming out today. Instead of just a link to the episode page, which I will be providing, Emily put out a post on twitter. She’s @TheCraftyDM on the T and here’s the tweet.

Emily on sendaSenda is @IdellaMithlynnd and here are the first 40 fake cool facts that Emily created:

  1.  @IdellaMithlynnd was cast on the first season of Project Runway but decided it was beneath her.
  2.  Chuck Norris once met @IdellaMithlynnd & referred to her as “that cool chick in the corner” later.
  3.  @IdellaMithlynnd will physically harm you if you give her an oatmeal raisin cookie instead of chocolate chip.
  4.  @IdellaMithlynnd knows how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop. She refuses to tell.
  5.  The @TheDoubleclicks song “Wonder” is actually about @IdellaMithlynnd.
  6.  @IdellaMithlynnd holds the world’s only honorary PhD for baking.
  7.  The new Star Wars movie is based on a fanfic @IdellaMithlynnd wrote in the 7th grade.
  8.  @IdellaMithlynnd is the president of her local Polar Bear club.
  9.  @IdellaMithlynnd has in fact caught all 1,042 pokemon.
  10.  @IdellaMithlynnd is #3 on Betty White’s speed dial.
  11.  @IdellaMithlynnd made an indestructible gingerbread house 2 years ago. Her cat still won’t go into the room where it’s kept.
  12.  Video didn’t kill the radio star. @IdellaMithlynnd did, but she’s got a great lawyer.
  13.  @IdellaMithlynnd knows how to say “I hate your turtle” in over a dozen languages.
  14.  @IdellaMithlynnd let the dogs out.
  15.  @IdellaMithlynnd doesn’t play the harp.
  16.  @IdellaMithlynnd promises me there’s no secret archive for @sasgeekpodcast.
  17.  @IdellaMithlynnd ‘s favorite TV show is Deal or No Deal.
  18.  @IdellaMithlynnd is a recruiter for S.H.I.E.L.D.
  19.  @IdellaMithlynnd has left a d20 at the top of every mountain in Central America.
  20.  @IdellaMithlynnd taught her son Elvish and Goblin (because you never know when you’ll need Goblin).
  21.  @IdellaMithlynnd makes necklaces out of the tears of her players after she GMs a game.
  22.  @IdellaMithlynnd had to destroy the only copy of her first novel because people started levitating after reading it.
  23.  @Wizards_DnD based their description of chaotic alignment off @IdellaMithlynnd ‘s bachelorette party.
  24.  @IdellaMithlynnd has been asked to play Buffy in the upcoming movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Life after High School.
  25.  @IdellaMithlynnd owns 1/5 of the go-kart racing centers in America.
  26.  @IdellaMithlynnd is NASA’s on call IT service.
  27.  @IdellaMithlynnd was Jessie’s girl.
  28.  No one goes tromping around wearing boots like @IdellaMithlynnd.
  29.  @IdellaMithlynnd has never played Minecraft because she lived it.
  30.  @IdellaMithlynnd has been mistaken for Idina Menzel enough times that she just says “yes” & signs autographs.
  31.  @IdellaMithlynnd ‘s cat Legolas is an actual descendant of the real Legolas. Beautiful hair that family.
  32.  @IdellaMithlynnd met JK Rowling on a train once. They had a nice chat over tea.
  33.  @IdellaMithlynnd can recite both the Iliad and the Odyssey in classic Greek from memory.
  34.  @IdellaMithlynnd has counted to infinity.
  35.  @IdellaMithlynnd has an entire room in her house dedicated to steampunk technology. All it does is make toast.
  36.  @IdellaMithlynnd studied abroad in college in Themyscira.
  37.  “Revenge is a dish best served at 237 degrees” -@IdellaMithlynnd.
  38.  @IdellaMithlynnd ‘s legal middle name is Paraglider.
  39.  @IdellaMithlynnd made the business cards used by @JPsoFLY ‘s PC Tryst Valentine in the Campaign Podcast.
  40.  @IdellaMithlynnd can speak to pandas but has a terrible human accent.

Feel free to click on the image of the tweet above and like it so we can get more cool fake Senda facts and you can catch the lovely ladies of She’s a Super Geek over at sasgeek.com to pick up the first episode of Heroine: Snowland by clicking on the link. You know, the one that’s highlighted in some color other than the normal text color.

Mic Drop. I’m Out.

Apr 22 2013

Framing

I think presentation is king, be it at the table or in the rule book your reading. When it comes to playing at the table I think framing is the best way to think about presenting the game. When I say framing this is what I mean:

The parameters you lay down to create with in X. X being the individual game, the scene, the campaign, or any variable you want to throw in there.

Now to the details.

Campaign Framing

When you’re setting up your campaign I think it’s important to have a frame, especially if you, as a GM, have some idea’s you want to put forth. To give those idea’s a chance you need to place the players in a creative box while still having a big idea, theme, or genre to build inside of. That means you give them some choices but keep the choices constrained. For example if you’re running a game in a city and you have an idea for a conspiracy / noir detective story it makes sense to create the parameter of “You’re all connected to a Private Detective Agency.” Now all the players can create something within the parameter you’ve described. If you think the “box” you’ve created is too small here’s a list of character archetypes you could have just off the top of my head. The hard-nosed private eye, the girl detective who uses all the tools at her disposal and won’t take anyone’s guff, the underworld guy who’s knows everyone but isn’t always trustworthy, the muscle you call in for hard jobs, the kid who just likes to hang around the PI’s, the tough nurse girl friend of one of the PI’s, the former client who owes a private dick a favor or two, the cop who sort of likes the PI’s and works with them because they can go places the cop can’t and vice versa. All of these could be PCs in a campaign.

Story Arc Framing

Story Arc Frames I feel are very dependent on the first session of them or the opening act. If you ever watch a TV show, read a novel, a comic book, or consume any kind of storytelling media pay attention to the first episode or first act. You’ll get introductions to the characters. The themes will be introduced. The opening conflict or hook, which should be related to the themes of the story, will be presented. An overall tone will permeate this part of the story.

As GM’s we have some options with which to push forth our themes and feel. First off we get to frame the first scene. In this frame we can set the tone with videos, pictures, music, props or whatever you decided to use but our most important tool for this frame is the words we use and how we use them. This is your first impression, the opening of the movie, the first 3 minutes of a TV show, the prologue of a book. This is your chance to hook them in and push your players to take a similar mind set as you. If I was trying to get the feel of the conspiracy / Noir campaign frame from above I would start with describing a camera shot of the office door with the name of the agency on it and then I would turn to one of the private eyes and ask them

“How are you sitting at your desk?”

Once they described that I would have there be a knock at the door and have a beautiful woman in expensive clothing walk in. Next I would ask one of the other players

“You’re sitting on the couch reading the paper when she walks in. What is your first impression of the beautiful woman? Describe her in first person.”

This reinforces the genre and tone I’m going for since Noir detective stories tend to get inside the head of the characters. Plus I’m getting the players to give some insight into their characters and keeping them involved in the storytelling instead of just talking to them. At this point whatever conflict I wanted to present to the PCs I do using the Fem Fatal as my vehicle for doing so. She offers them a job which they take since they’re PI’s and need the money since PI’s are almost always broke. Tone presented, hook set, characters involved, job done. From here it’s all fall out and keeping the tone, themes, and characters in mind when you frame future scenes which leads to…

Scene Framing

The framing of a scene is similar to the framing of your story arc except all scenes you frame from here on build upon the first scene and the scenes which came before the current one. These scenes exist to allow your PCs to make choices to push the story forward and create conflicts for them to overcome, whether it’s shooting bad guys, infiltrating criminal organizations, or hitting at the Black Jack table instead of standing on that 20, because while you both have 20 you need to win this hand and get out of here with the cash or you won’t make it to the exchange in time and your friend is going to die.

Framing these scenes by keeping to the ideas you’ve established in your campaign frame and Story Arc frame will reinforce the kinds of choices your player’s will want to make and keep them thinking along the established ideas. The words and props you use will spark the imagination of the people you’re gaming with, inciting them to make decisions which will prompt your imagination in return. Here’s an example of a framing a scene:

“You find yourself in Terry’s Place, a diner you frequent. Where do you sit and what are you eating?”

The players give their answers and you continue.

“The food tastes great as you’ve once again barely escaped a death defying situation.”

This is a great place to remind them of the death defying situation they’ve just escaped from but if you’re starting a session cold then you can ask – What death defying situation have you just escaped from? In this example the question is – How did you escape from a death defying situation the Villi Mob put you in?

“I guess the Villi Mob didn’t appreciate your interference in their most recent plans. That’s when a chair is pulled up to your booth and a man sits down wearing a black coat and a fedora. His eyes take you in mid bite as you hear the click of a gun cocking from below the table. Neither of the man’s hands are visible as he gives you small smirk.”

“Hi boys. Sorry about this but Mr. Villi wants a word with you.”

You can ask the players who the gun man is or insert your own NPC.

“You recognize the man as Bobby the Hat. A Villi mob trouble shooter and that means he sometimes shoots the trouble.”

Now we play the game of act and react.

So that’s how I think about framing. I’m curious as to how you start campaigns, story arcs, and scenes. Please let me know? I’m also interested in how you promote a tone or theme during your gaming sessions? Thanks for reading