Top products from r/AskGameMasters

We found 22 product mentions on r/AskGameMasters. We ranked the 29 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top comments that mention products on r/AskGameMasters:

u/BR3AKR · 5 pointsr/AskGameMasters

First off I'd like to say that this is my first exposure to this subreddit. It's really cool what you guys are doing here! Secondly, I could go on about Fate forever and will happily talk anyone's ear off that has any additional questions so do not hesitate to ask.

> What does this game system do particularly well?

Fate does pulpy style action really well. The fast and loose rules allow for quick moving games where scenes keep clipping by. Thanks to its probability curve heavily favoring being near the player's stat, characters who are good at something are reliably good at something. This curve also allows "aspects" (small snippets of flavor text) to have a very strong impact on the game with their +2/-2 modifiers - constantly reinforcing the fiction.

> What is unique about the game system or the setting?

Aspects and Fate Points are generally what people will bring up talking about the system. The idea is that if there is an aspect that applies to the situation, a Fate Point can be spent to add +2 to your die roll. It's important to emphasize here that this isn't a D&D +2, think more like a D&D +8. This works the other way too, giving you a flat -2 to your roll as well, but you gain faint points for having aspects compelled against you (yay!) This sort of flow of Fate points constantly reinforcing these Aspects is the game's way of reinforcing the fiction.

Another part of the game that's quite unique is how hackable it is. If you get into it, you'll learn about this concept called "The Fate Fractal", or the "Bronze Rule" - which is that everything in Fate can be modeled like a character. Want to model armies? Great! Create a unique stress track, some skills, and give them an aspect or two. A cool gun? Toss an aspect on it! Want a spaceship that has a unique ability like cloaking? Give it a Stunt! Once you get the hang of this, it's so easy you can literally use it in the middle of a session to model things of all shapes, sizes, and scopes in a way that makes sense to everyone at the table.

> What advice would you give to GMs looking to run this?

There is loads of great advice on this particular topic in the Fate Core rulebook, and various resources online.

> What element of this game system would be best for GMs to learn to apply to other systems [Or maybe more politely, "What parts of this system do you wish other systems would do/ take inspiration from"]

Fate (and many more modern RPGs out there, Dungeon World for example) place a huge emphasis on player interaction during world building. They also emphasize that world-building doesn't stop at the start of a campaign, but rather continues as the game moves on. Ask questions of your players about the campaign world and incorporate it moving forward - you will not regret it. I've tried to incorporate this into my DMing style while playing 5e as well and I think has hugely improved the quality of the games overall.

> What problems (if any) do you think the system has?

First off the system is setting-less so it can be daunting creating a world from scratch, even with a group of friends. I would also say that character progression can feel really flat if you don't spend a good amount of time coming up with good unique Stunts to keep characters spicey (Stunts are similar to Feats, and class abilities from D&D). Make sure that you're really trying to bring out the flavor of the campaign world through these mechanics, or one campaign can end up feeling very similar to the next.

> What would you change about the system if you had a chance [Because lessons can be learned from failures as well as successes]

Fate is pretty bare-bones. Mechanically, there's not much you could change I think. The latest edition of Fate Core did a wonderful job making the system accessible and understandable for new players, but there is always room for improvement in explaining a game as abstract as Fate.

> What play style does this game lend itself to?

I would say a high-octane story driven campaign is probably your best bet. Characters are competent badasses from the start, and the pace at which players seem to move through adventures seems so much faster than in systems like WoD or D&D. Normally for D&D adventures I set aside 4 hours per session, and can expect to get in two or three encounters and a little bit of story. In Fate my sessions run shorter (2 to 2 1/2 hours) and players tend to get through more in the Fate sessions.

> What unique organizational needs/tools does this game require/provide?

Index cards are a part of almost every Fate campaign I run (and it seems most GMs). I love Campaign Coins' Fate Tokens. You can technically make Fate (aka Fudge) dice out of six siders, however I recommend just picking up a beautiful set from Evil Hat :).

> What module do you think exemplifies this system?

I've never personally run a module. However there are tons of really solid looking campaign settings available through Evil Hat (Save Game, and Venture City Stories are two personal favorites and they're pay what you want!), and The Fate Codex Patreon.

> Which modules/toolkits/supplements do you think are most beneficial to the average GM?

Honestly, the Fate Core rulebook and the plethora of resources online are just about all you need.

> From your perspective, what was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome to run this specific system successfully?

Understanding, fully, the different ways you can use (and abuse) aspects. Honestly, I'm still wrestling with it. There are always so many at your disposal and it can be easy to forget to lean on them regularly. If you fail to do that, Fate can really lose its magic.

> Can you explain the setting the system takes place? Is there some sort of "starter adventure" ? If so then how is it constructed?

Fate is generic out of the box without an assumed setting. See my answer about modules above, they're all pretty short reads so go with whatever sounds exciting. Drive Thru RPG has loads of really really cool Fate campaign settings available.

> Is there an easy transition to other adventures and/or own creations?

I've run quite a few D&D adventures myself in traditional high fantasy settings, but after learning about Fate I got absolutely stoked about running a Space Opera (think Star Wars, or Battlestar Galactica) campaign. I came to the table with a general idea of the kind of campaign I wanted and worked with the players to build the campaign up from there. The Fate Core rules supply a nice structure for pulling a campaign setting together as a team. This really helps both the players and the GM be invested in the campaign you're playing. I've run two campaigns in that universe so far and it has probably been my favorite campaign setting to date.

> What cost should I expect if I want to start GM'ing this system?

Minimum - $0

This assumes you use the Fate SRD as your rules resource, or pay $0 as a pay what you want on drive thru rpg for the PDF. It also assumes you're either using your computer for rolling Fate dice or used regular six-siders to make your own Fate dice.

Usual Starter Kit (Remember to support your FLGS) - $40

u/cyclops1771 · 2 pointsr/AskGameMasters

Our group has a player like this, maybe not to such an extent. Our player also wants the deck of many things, is always wanting to hoard what HE finds, but share in everyone else's finds. Is always somehow, "Just about to level up" when everyone else just leveled. Always goes against the party, doing secret behind our back actions. Always finds some crazy, unbalanced, Unearthed Arcana "new thing" to play. Whereas most of us go through 1-2 characters in a storyline, he will go through a new one each session. Etc. However, we have made this into a fun part of the game.

A few things you can do. Give him the deck of many things, but take out the 3-4 best cards that give bonuses. Maybe you can get him sent to another plane of existence, and then that character is gone. That problem is handled! Just kidding, but it would be fun.

As for the 3rd party character. Just straight up tell him, "Hey, that guy is REALLY cool, but it isn't in our rules for this table. I'd really like to make him into an NPC, that could eventually become our BBEG and nemesis." Sort of an ego stroke, that HIS GUY is so cool that he can be the BBEG!!! Then, spend an hour or two with him, going over the other (allowed) character options to get him one that is acceptable to your game. This could be a good bonding, one on one time, where you can impart your wishes for the table to him, quietly, without fuss or input from others, and make sure his new character is built properly, and MAKE A COPY OF IT FOR YOUR NOTES. When you get a skill check, you can quickly look down, see it's a +7, and then check his math.

As to the fudging rolls, this can be pretty easy. Go and spend $20-30 on a nice wooden, felt dice rolling box, like this one , place it in the middle of the table, and everyone is told to roll their dice into the box. Everyone will be watching, leaning forward, etc. to see the rolls. Fudging rolls isn't possible anymore. That problem is solved.

As for meta-gaming, I don't care. So he reads the rules and applies them. They are there for a reason - to be used. If the system is broken somehow, and players use that to their advantage, so what? I say let 'em play. GM the scenes differently so they can't use that loophole if it becomes a problem.

Finally, as the GM, you get to decide what is a pass, and what is a fail. Don't say, "OK, roll a 17 or higher to pass!" That gives the person something to shoot/fudge the math for. Just say, "Roll Skill check." If you see the roll and know your bonuses from the copy, you can see if he fudged the math. You have 2 choices - call him on it in front of everyone, "Player 1, you rolled an 8, with a bonus of +7, that's 15, not 18. [Smile politely/jokingly] you need to do math better!!" OR, look him DEAD IN THE EYE for a second or two before you say "Sorry, that didn't pass" and keep looking him, as long as it takes before he averts his eyes, and let it go at that. He will have received the message that cheating isn't allowed, that you know what he did, but didn't call him out in front of everyone. This will either resolve the problem, or if it continues, let you know that he is incorrigible, and will not change, and it's time to boot him from the game.

u/birdoge · 2 pointsr/AskGameMasters

I'm not sure if this counts, but I have A Red and Pleasant Land and I love it. It fueled an entire arc in my group's campaign. I like "weird" fantasy (the archetypical D&D stuff doesn't do it for me so much, even though I run 5e) and the ideas, monsters, and flavor of the book were amazing. The fact that it's so "out there" also meant it was easy to graft to my current setting. The players got there by navigating a magical forest. It has some very cool tables, too. So to basically echo another comment: adaptability, cool concepts, hooks, etc.

As for why I actually purchased it, the quality of the book itself had a lot to do with it (hardback with cloth cover, very nice object in and of itself), but the unusual illustrations and the fact I love the whole Wonderland type of thing fed into it a lot.

u/Kaiyoto · 2 pointsr/AskGameMasters

I've wanted to try one of these, particularly to go up against my misfits running Detroit. I deal with Knight Errant in Detroit but it's really not much different than Lone Star at heart.

Not entirely sure what you're looking for but there's a couple of things worth looking through. If you have Corporate Security from I think it was 3rd or 2nd edition, there's some info there about how Knight Errant and what services they provide. They do a lot of security consulting for setting up. Not sure if it's worth buying if you don't already have access to it. Run and Gun (5th edition) p89 is good. It provides a makeup of security teams and team tactics. There's also mechanical benefits if they want to delve into that realm, but if nothing else it's good for fluff.

There's no police rank structure provided in Shadowrun so I just used this for KE

KE is Lone Star's competition. If I remember rightly they beat KE out of a contract to police Seattle. These agencies are also no less prone to Corporate Warfare than any other corporation. So don't forget that you can use backstabbing and what not like any other Shadowrun game. You'll probably find more "white knight" cops here, but there's still going to be plenty of corrupt agents all the way up the ladder.

And also, the term for illegal magical goods is Maleficium. Nobody is allowed to practice magic without a license or have magical goods without licenses. There is also cyber crime. Having things like a cyberdeck require a license. So make sure to add magical and cyber crimes to your list of crimes.

I'm not sure how low down the ladder you want to start them but starting them off as beat cops could be fun, but also tedious. Maybe give them a chance to get promoted via doing favors for someone higher up. In a lot of ways, some teams in a police organization could be used like Shadowrunners. They might be more trustworthy but yes it does remove "deniable asset" aspect of using a Shadowrunning team. But then again, if they mess up, Lone Star would still chop it up to an "Industrial accident" or "died in the line of duty." I could also see them being a part of a specific unit devoted toward investigating certain types of crimes.

Check out the wiki for ideas it actually lists departments and lists a specialized force called "TacDiv"

Oh yeah, I forgot, there's a Lone Star sourcebook. It's an older edition but the it would still be really good for reference

I'd be open to discussing more ideas. You'd be helping me as well.

u/blacksheepcannibal · 13 pointsr/AskGameMasters

> I want to start a Pathfinder group with two players who just want to have fun and don't mind if it's not a real campaign

You're wanting to use one of the most complicated, rules intensive, and prep-heavy games on the market. In a perfect world, that's the first thing I would change.

There are a variety of TTRPGs out there in all genres that require little, or often times explicitly no prepwork of any sort to play very nicely. For instance, when I play Blades in the Dark, I keep my stuff in a 3-ring binder. It gets shut when we finish the session, it gets opened when we start, and I don't touch it otherwise.

But the normal response is "but I want to play Pathfinder because (insert whatever reason here) and no other game will do".

Read this and this and do yourself a favor and read this and take what you can from it.

There are a few other tricks, but that's a pretty reasonable starting point.

Other than the best solution, which is to play a no-or-low-prep game.

Another consideration: are you sure you want to play a TTRPG not not a legacy boardgame like Decent, or Gloomhaven, or some other legacy game like that? Especially if you're mostly interested in the mechanical aspects of fighting and such, it's a good consideration.

u/AnguirelCM · 1 pointr/AskGameMasters

If you really want to go into a rotating / clockwork system, you could make the entire dungeon a rotating labyrinth.

For your purposes, I think where you're starting is fine, but I'm not sure I'd use a "1d4 rounds" mechanic. Clockwork means it should be predictable, not random. Also, I'd have some sections move very frequently (more than once per round).

For the predictable part -- allow players to spend a turn analyzing and on a successful Knowledge Engineering (or equivalent) roll they can make a guess as to what will move, when, and in which direction, allowing them to plan actions. They would also get a bonus on dexterity rolls to stay on the platforms -- faster-moving outer sections are harder to manage, right on the pivot point is pretty easy. More importantly, the enemy should know those movements, and use them to his advantage where possible -- intentionally getting on a platform that will move him into range for an attack, and then immediately move him out again after, for example.

That's where multiple-times-per-turn comes in. Holding Actions, or Readying Actions for when platforms move. Put them into the initiative order so they spin all over the place. To ensure the fight doesn't end up static, I'd have nearly every part go into a danger-spot on occasion -- steam blasting out of a pipe, or one end of the platform sliding into a wall, or whatever makes sense -- to ensure the players can't just try to trap the bad guy in one spot and then fight him while ignoring the room hazards.

Beyond that... Platforms should only rarely overlap -- better to have them reverse direction if they would otherwise sweep across an existing platform. That said, if they do go across, you should determine in advance which is above the other, and you run them like traps, tripping people who don't jump them, and allowing people to try to get on / off as one sweeps over the other, and so on.

Gears could be more interesting in general -- look into using board games like Tzolkin or 5th gear or even a kid's gear play set if you don't want to make your own, but having players riding various sizes of gear as they rotate handles the dynamic but predictable element of the terrain changing, and allows for some potentially gruesome hazard-damage using push-attacks into gear-teeth.

Edit: I also strongly suggest they get to traverse it once with just the gears and platforms being the encounter, before needing to revisit the room while also in combat. Especially if it isn't as easily predictable as, say, turning a set of gears once or twice per round.

u/bobbleprophet · 1 pointr/AskGameMasters

One of the best resources I’ve found for Mesopotamian mythology is the book Treasures of Darkness. It’s a bit dense relying heavy on translated source material but one of the most insightful reads on the topic. Religion in Ancient Mesopotamia is another good one that is more of a general examination on the topic and has an easier-to-read narrative structure.

Do you have academic credentials? There are a couple papers on Gilgamesh I have in mind but they’re behind a paywall. Here’s a open-source analysis (direct link to pdf-it’s clean) that touches upon some of the themes I mentioned and could be of interest in building out your world.

Edit: I’m just remembering that the Mesopotamian god names are used in Forgotten Realms(sorry it’s been a while). Some aspects which have been altered to fit into the alignment grid but much of their core remains intact. Reading up on their mythological counterparts will provide a lot more nuisance than the DnD source material.

u/wiljc3 · 3 pointsr/AskGameMasters

So, I started down this path with Hamlet's Hit Points by Robin Laws, and I'd highly recommend it as a guide for fitting a functional narrative into an RPG.

Having not re-read the book in some time, it's something that I do almost intuitively at this point with the concept of story beats. I just kind of feel when the time is right for things to take a turn - whether dark, triumphant, unexpected, etc. It's just about feeding off the fiction in progress, the room, and the dice to keep both story and tone interesting and engaging. That often means surprising myself as much as anyone because I have the flexibility to grab at any thought that pops up in the moment and fits the continuity.

u/Downtym · 1 pointr/AskGameMasters

> would you buy a campaign setting sourcebook?

Yes. Have done so before, will do so again.

> If so, what features would you look for?
> If you've bought them in the past, then what made you want to buy them?

Maps! Descriptions of things on those maps. Interesting personalities. Story stuff.

When it gets to mechanical stuff I could live without them.

As a GM I can come up with stats that balance for my group. I can come up with cool toys. I can come up with fun tactical events.

I buy sourcebooks for the content which takes a lot of time to create: The maps, the personalities, the political conflicts, the broader strategic issues that are occurring.

Example: Ptolus. I have used and re-used people, places, and plots from Ptolus in numerous ways. One of my best RPG purchases ever.

u/RPGRhetor · 2 pointsr/AskGameMasters

I'll second the folks encouraging emphasis on tone and add in word choice - remembering that this character only uses one-syllable words or this character overuses (or misuses) 50-cent words goes a long way towards making them memorable to the PCs.

I have a book from my Speech & Debate days on Accents called Accents - A Manual for Actors that I've found super helpful when I want to make use of an accent: it's got pronunciation guides and a CD to help.

u/flynnski · 4 pointsr/AskGameMasters

Honestly, the D&D starter campaign is really good for that. It's $9.99 on Amazon right now, and comes with a few dice and some pregen characters if you want. I know you said free, but this is a dang steal.

Plus it has a dragon, which is neat.

u/Tone_Milazzo · 4 pointsr/AskGameMasters

Thanks for asking.
My first novel, Picking Up the Ghost at YA novel about ghosts, lies, and voodoo, was published by ChiZine back in 2011.
My second novel, The Faith Machine about a unit of psychic spies who uncovered an old Soviet program to weaponize religion, will be published by Running Wild Press in 2020.

u/Stiletto · 1 pointr/AskGameMasters

I'm not sure how good a game it is but the SciFi channel (now Amazon?) had a show called The Expanse which was pretty hard sci-fi. They made an rpg from it, which recently completed a kickstarter.

Free quick start PDF.

u/dneighbors · 1 pointr/AskGameMasters

Strongly suggest DMGR2 : Castle Guide. TONS of good data. You can purchase or get PDF online.

Chapter 5: Castle Construction has everything you want.

  • Acquiring Land
  • The Construction Site
  • Climate Type
  • Geography
  • Ground Cover
  • Resource Availability
  • The Work Force
  • Local Social Structure
  • Worker Skill
  • Worker Morale
  • Castle Design
  • Castle Modules
  • Average Construction Time & Cost
  • Works of Art
  • Overhead Costs
  • Final Calculations
  • Monthly Events
u/dindenver · 1 pointr/AskGameMasters

If you have some money, but not enough for official minis, try something like this:

u/nut_butter_420 · 2 pointsr/AskGameMasters

This is the mat I use, a.k.a. the classic.

Recently I've been playing on the hex grid, modifying some rules to use it for combat. It's handy to have both, and I've had this mat for ~8 years now and it's holding up strong.

u/RandomSadPerson · 1 pointr/AskGameMasters

I use the Pathfinder Flip-Mat with some wet markers.

It's really basic, but it's handy and does the job just fine.

u/Phuka · 2 pointsr/AskGameMasters

Before name generators, this was my go-to.