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OOC, Starters and Questions / Re: The Silk Road OOC Chat
« Last post by EchoMirage on May 05, 2018, 10:07:31 AM »
Val, I guess we can exercise our sandboxy narrative privileges to decide where to bring the preggo bombs. A little banter between Blue and Jerome to work it out?
Moderated Freeform / Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Last post by EchoMirage on May 04, 2018, 07:21:06 AM »
"Oh, sweet Jerome, I've been f*cked since the day I was made, so nothing new here." Blue shrugged. SNAFU was a way of life, Charlie Foxtrot a frequent guest. You wrest your highs from life's grasp where you can, and slog through the suck.
"I feel a profound need to spite those who would have used us, ideally by depriving them of their enticing merchandise. You seem like the military type - do you have any somewhat ethical military contacts who might take these off our hands? I myself know a few anarch cells and libertarian groups with the tech savvy to handle them, though you know well - these ladies constitute power, and power wants to be used. There may be someone willing to disassemble them, though most would know of a target to use them upon. Hell, I might know, and it is ever so tempting to not do so. Hell, I revise what I said - can we use them, please? Just a corp or two? Or three? Blown into infinity of tiny pieces, floating free?"
Blue gave Jerome the best 'can we daddy please' look that Blue could muster.
The soldier seemed not all too receptive to this train of thought.
Blue swatted him: "Oh, come on! It would be fun! But if you don't want to, I am also happy with just depriving the buggers in Cairo of the ladies. Just less happy. Content, perhaps."

Blue then strolled over to Arjan, gaze lowered apologetically. "Most beautiful of Amazons, I am desolate to tell you - given what we have learned, back in Cairo, Death already sharpens its blade, for us all, and you by association. It may be best to abscond along with us, to the relative safety of flight as compared to the absolute certainty of demise?"

Also, if anyone knows a reason to *not* shoot LV in the face, tell me now, otherwise I'll do it in my next post.
Moderated Freeform / Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Last post by valadaar on May 03, 2018, 09:23:16 AM »
"Oh @!#$. @!#$, @!#$." said Jerome.   

Stop. Get Calm. The 'ladies' are watching.

This was hotter then anything he had expected.  If they had carried a nuke, that would have been one thing.  These, well, were walking apocalypses.

Jerome made a point of recording the settings and the video.  Wordlessly he prepared a dead-mans message to be sent to key military contacts should he die.  Jerome still cared about this world enough for that.

Now what?  Any doubts he had about them being burned at the first chance by their 'employers' had evaporated.

Wordlessly also, he directed a few commands to his blast-bot in the cargo bay of the tank. Not to detonate, but on standby.  That plus his other cargo should turn the tank and its contents into shrapnel.

"Blue, I think you were @!#$ed the second you signed up. They are going to erase us.  Maybe even Doc. E. Maybe that idiot back at the bar.
Slate shows her as an air-head, though I expect she has hidden stuff deeper then I can find."

Citadel Tavern / APRIL 2018 HIGHLIGHTS
« Last post by Kevin Cook on May 03, 2018, 07:09:55 AM »
If you are not interested in new or rare dice that were added to the worlds largest collection of dice this month ... Please ignore this post

Click on the Threshold Diceworks tribute to the Holmes AD&D set above to see the highlights of dice added in April 2018 

Moderated Freeform / Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Last post by Scrasamax on May 02, 2018, 04:02:41 PM »
Jerome's eyes bulged as he read his rad detector, the readings were crazy, the waves looped back in on themselves, folding and forming to fractal patterns. One of the pregnant mobile mines was emitting 'strange radiation', the sort of thing that seeped from arcanotech weapons, the weird things. He didn't recognize the wave form, and neither did his rad detector. It blinked alarmingly. Adeaze's tablet was absurdly easy to hack, especially since her hands were intact and good for a biometric access. The slate was full of games, a large amount of selfies and autoerotic porn.
OOC, Starters and Questions / Re: The Silk Road OOC Chat
« Last post by EchoMirage on May 01, 2018, 03:09:17 PM »
Oh, get well soon. Just poke me when this is no longer on hold :)
OOC, Starters and Questions / Re: The Silk Road OOC Chat
« Last post by Scrasamax on May 01, 2018, 06:48:21 AM »
It's not dead, just me.

Had a GI incident over the busy weekend and haven't been online much. Spent most of yesterday asleep.

Didn't get to post this last weekend because, and this is looking up, I am looking at a new potential job. More money and only a short move if it works out
OOC, Starters and Questions / Re: The Silk Road OOC Chat
« Last post by EchoMirage on April 30, 2018, 06:18:36 PM »
So, doctor, ready to call it?  :poet:
Citadel Tavern / Re: Book tips - Have any? (Also applies to other media)
« Last post by MoonHunter on April 28, 2018, 10:27:45 PM »
Reading List to up your game II

MoonHunter was all about "the reading list" last post. They are great books to improve your story instincts and your implied structure of a game.

So I was looking for something in my old posts. You know me, I am old so I can't remember how brilliant I was a few years ago. I am always going back and reading things I have previously written. Then I found something of interest (of course not the thing I was looking for, that came later), but interesting never the less. MoonHunter was asked about GMing books from Game Sources. While not what I was planning to blog about next, it was topical to the blog. Here was the list that I came up with.

The Original StrikeForce by Aaron Allston (and the new one was good too).
I was a story oriented GM before that was a thing. This books helped me hone my GMing to a fine point.

Robins Laws of Good Gamemastering -
Really, you shoud read it

I found the Dream Park Adventure Design section to be inspirational, it was the first time Beats and plot archetypes were mentioned in a game section.

These are all older references. Some of the gems they contained are considered "common knowledge" now... no longer innovative to a experienced reader because it has already been absorbed and dispersed to gamerkind.

Still a GM needs a book like a blade needs a whetstone.

There are more of course. There is always more. Someone always has their two cents to add. Most of it is the same old, same old, reworded and repackaged. Some are truly innovative.

Hamlet's Hitpoints
It will help make you conscious of your story's actions by the examples there.

from Engine Publishing Go buy a bunch, you won't regret it.

Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master's Guide to Session Prep
I tend to do all my prep far ahead of time, just fine tuning my work just before the session. Still, until you start doing that, this is a great book on session prep.

Odyssey: The Complete Game Master's Guide to Campaign Management
You have to be prepared for the long haul. You also have to be prepared for the strange and wonderous creatures called Players.

Focal Point: The Complete Game Master's Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions
The table time is where the game really occurs. There are things you need to be aware of to run an awesome game.

Unframed: The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters
No matter how skilled you are in planning a game, occasionally it goes off the rails. Improvising by building on what you have is a great tool to have in your kit.

To be honest, some of best GMing advice I have gotten is from writing books. While novel writing books are useful, the ones geared towards film are better. Games are normally paced at the speed of video (Movie/ TV)... they are stories over time, rather than the novel's story through path. Gamers like movies. If you pace your game like a movie they respond positively. You can pace it like a TV show or a TV show with season arc, or a comic book, and if you must a novel.... it gives you a mental format to follow. As an aside: because mentally formatting play like this, you can keep using the golden rule, "Is this the way it would happen in a movie (inset medium)? // Is this something I would find in a good movie?" as a rule to measure if what you are doing is "in line" with your vision.

But I did a lot of that last post.

I would also recommend checking out some books on storytelling (the verbal kind), acting, and film directing. I don't have any stand outs that will automatically improve your gaming presentation. However, just a few tips and directions will help you highten your presentation at the table.
Citadel Tavern / Re: Book tips - Have any? (Also applies to other media)
« Last post by MoonHunter on April 28, 2018, 10:17:58 PM »
Reading List to up your game

When you are a game master, you always need to try and up your game... always try to be better. After all, why stay a low level GM, when you can work at it a little and become an Epic GM that everyone wants to play with.

While GMs will need to work on "presentation", and there will be some posts on that, they need to be able to plan out possible stories and how they can branch. Most GMs (and players) have an innate sense of story... how it should flow, when things should happen, when to predict clues or obstacles will show up. A Great GM is conscious of that sense of story and is aware of what needs to happen next. Do you want to be a Great GM? Of course you do. So let us hone your sense of story.

I have some things I want to say about it... but you may or may not agree with me. How about some people who write stories for a living... hit movies and novels. They might be someone you should listen to.

How about you do a little homework that will up your game immensely? Then we will come back and work with it. And if you don't do the reading, don't worry, we will go over parts of it in class.

Be a Pro: Read and Learn.

Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting
by Robert McKee

Gaming is more about storytelling through time, than writing. Running a game is more like a movie or television show than it is a story. The book is written on how to deal with such elements as time. Yes you have to adapt it to gaming, but it presents some great ideas.

The point of this book on the list is to ensure that you are conscious about what an entertaining session should have.

Story Engineering
by Larry Brooks

This book will teach you the six things you need to pay attention to when setting up a campaign and crafting plotlines/ story arcs. The parts on story structure is the important part in this book for GMs.

Story Physics
by Larry Brooks

This book gets a bit repetitive at times, but that is only to make sure that the key points sinks in. Not on the same level as the first two books on this list, but a powerful tool.

Last but not least

Dialogue: The Art of Verbal Action for Page, Stage, and Screen
By Robert McKee
This one is for players and GMs who want to "up there game". Dialogue teaches how to craft effective speeches for characters. It shows how to ensure dialogue holds the audience's attention, how to 'time' dialogue and how to retain motivation and to provide productive information within dialogue.

by James Burke
This could include Connections II, and if you haven't understood the process by now, Connections III. These are the best education in setting design. Any Setting. (Videos are great, the books are still interesting even after you have seen them.) It changes the way you think about history and about social/ technical growth. Instead of things that just appearing because you want them in your setting, you learn how to put together steps and ideas to get what you want.... and some of the odd side effects of having one thing gets you other things. It shows you quirks and changes so your world has more verisimilitude.

Suggested Reading List
Writing Mysteries
By Sue Grafton
Multiple award winner and gives you a feel for how to run a mystery and some tips on presenting material.

Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy
by Orson Scott Card
Multiple award winner (the book). Gives you a good feel for the creative process of creating and maintaing a fictional universe.

These Books will form a foundation for you to improve upon. They are written for other media, so you will have to adapt them to gaming. That is actually the point. I need you to think about it. To think about how these ideas apply to gaming. Theses ideas will then gel in your mind. You will see how it all comes together. Once it comes together, it will form a strong foundation for you to build upon.

Now there are some other seminal works of GMing, about GMing, that will be listed in future posts. Most are from Gnome Stew folks, but some are great works in the past. I will touch bases with those and give you more to think about.

Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
Save the Cat Strikes Back by Blake Snyder
Screenwriter's Bible by David Trotter

And while I am here....  Here is a slide show about how to write a better story/ Screenplay

MoonHunter Sayeth: Thou Shalt Always Try To Be A Better Gamer
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