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A Busy Time for GMing

Con season has begun; Walt’s already been to Origins [1], I enjoyed my first Kublacon [2] over Memorial Day weekend, and the big summer shows, GenCon and DragonCon, are still to come.

Summer can be a busy time for GMs, giving you even more sessions to prepare for than normal. (Hopefully, a con will offer you a chance to be a player [3], especially if you’re not getting to play regularly.) I got into Feng Shui at Kublacon, which I’ve long been interested in trying out. I had a great time; it does seem like a cool system.

Running Gnome… er, Man

After a lull, I’m currently preparing for and running 5 games! My groups are great and we do a great job of rotating GMing duties… but my enthusiasm got away from me.

For my home group, we’re currently about two-thirds of the way through Lost Mine of Phandelver [4]; the players cleared out Cragmaw Castle last session and are off to Thundertree.

In alternate weeks, the home group is playing Primetime Adventures. (Many of you mentioned an interest; I see that Primetime Adventures is on sale now! [5]) Our show is Peculiar, Missouri [6], a town where strange things go bump in the night. We finished the Pilot and three episodes… big secrets are coming out, and the city’s status apart from the world is unraveling. Last game, Isabela shut down a gate to Ickythid, but poor Kimmie seems to be transforming into a fish person. It’s a crazy place…

On Fridays I’ve been playing Primetime Adventures with a group that came together around the game, seeded by our local Indie Roleplaying club. With them, we’ve been playing Planetary Pioneers [7], a retro sci-fi style game. It’s been going tremendously… in fact, tonight is our series finale! Here are some of the final “Next Week Ons” that we’ll be fulfilling tonight.

  • Coburn holds Princess lowered at Dan’s back. “Mr. Anderson, you’ve been relieved of duty. Hand over your sidearm.”
  • Hank’s in an escape pod, alone; it’s very quiet. He’s breathing heavily, his hand hovers over a button, shaking.
  • The whole crew looks down at the mountain site, greatly altered. Trees without pollen or silver bugs now cluster at the edge of the site. A half-constructed ship is suspended in the trees, gleaming beside (in a zoom out) a worn version of the ship that brought you all here.

The game’s featured a number of twists and turns; the trees on this planet seem to be sentient, “Shadows” cause blackouts and awaken telepathy in humans, there’s weird alien crystal tech that our heroes are just starting to decode… it’s a great show that I’d certainly watch. (That last “next week on” looks like it’s a big flash forward… a crazy cool development that Kevin introduced and surprised us all.)

That’s Three… I thought you said five?

This weekend is Crazy Squirrel’s Roleplaying Minicon [8]. I’m running a pair of Fate games for the con; somehow, I always want to play more Fate.

On Saturday, I’m running Mark Diaz Truman’s quick start adventure, Dark Star, from The Fate Codex, Vol 1, Issue 2 [9]. It looks like a great setting, and “troubled pilots on the edge of space” sounds like characters that players will “get” right away.

On Sunday, I’m running a custom Spirit of the Century scenario called Shaking the Pillars of Hercules [10]. Criminal masterminds, ghouls, the Sahara itself… I’m looking forward to it!

A Season of Games

This weekend is the peak of my GMing; I’ll swiftly be returning to a normal load after the con and end of the Planetary Pioneers game. What does your summer look like? Did you bring a campaign to an end matching the school year? Do you have any fun summer games, con games, or just great home games planned?

Tell us about a game that you’re running, planning, or recently wrapped up. Are you playing old favorites or trying something new? I’m looking forward to reading about your Summer 2015 games!

5 Comments (Open | Close)

5 Comments To "A Busy Time for GMing"

#1 Comment By BryanB On June 19, 2015 @ 10:25 am

As you know I recently tried out D&D 5e from the player side of the screen and it was a fun experience. I’d certainly play 5e again at some point.

Like you I enjoy getting a chance to play some FATE based games. I’m looking forward to the FATE Core spin on the Bulldogs! Space Opera setting. I wouldn’t mind trying a Diaspora setting creation session again but then using more of a FATE Core approach to actual play in the setting that would be created.

I have a lot more unfocused ideas brewing than actual games ready for play. Group play has been very sporadic for me at best and my motivation has been low. I have been invited to join a Stars Without Number game but I am not yet sure about the meeting times and if it will fit my availability or not.

I look forward to playing at the mini-con this weekend and only wish I could have prepped something for the Saturday night slot. Something other than a fantasy game. I’ve been a bit burned out on fantasy for the past year or so.

#2 Comment By Scott Martin On June 19, 2015 @ 11:32 am

Diaspora world building + Bulldogs! sounds like a very fun game. Stars Without Number looked interesting when I last looked at it.

What unfocused ideas are floating around? (I totally understand that they’re not ready for prime-time, but it’s always interesting to see what seeds are germinating.)

#3 Comment By BryanB On June 19, 2015 @ 12:26 pm

For a long time I’ve had the following ideas floating around in my head but nothing has taken hold of my creative focus….

In no particular order:

The Invaders: A creepy suspenseful covert alien invasion game set in the 1960s during the height of the Cold War era. You know they are here. You’ve seen them. No one believes you. They know that you know.

Outland: Corporate Earth has established a colony on the closest “Class-M” planet. You are the security officers tasked with enforcing the laws and regulations governing mankind’s greatest venture. Serve and Protect. Your back-up is only six months out. Good luck.

For the Glory of Rome: They say he will be the next great Caesar of the Roman Empire. A popular general turned politician. He has the love of the people, the support of his former legion,and great clout within the senate chambers. His pending REIGN is considered a mere formality by those who support the “Hero.” A vote is upcoming to place executive power into the hands of one man. To make the Protector an Emperor. Your fathers are all Senators from the great families and they oppose HIM.

I watched the new Mad Max movie recently and that combined with playing Fallout: New Vegas has me thinking about various post-apocalyptic game ideas. As that recent article here on the stew suggested, it can be a sea of ideas that are inherently hard to boil down into a cohesive plan.

There is also my persistent desire for a Star Trek game simmering as well as a return to the Star Wars Old Republic characters of Doumar, Jaris, Isao, Geoff, and Brant for a third installment. 🙂

#4 Comment By Scott Martin On June 19, 2015 @ 3:32 pm

All of those sound good. I hope that they grow too tempting to ignore and you have to put pen to paper… and run them!

#5 Comment By BryanB On July 2, 2015 @ 12:46 pm

I was hoping for more feedback from readers on this thread. I enjoy hearing about game ideas or irons in the fire if you will. Maybe my ideas killed the thread? 🙂