• This Week in Gaming

    by  • September 24, 2012 • News • 6 Comments

    Monsters and Manuals has a piece of advice that can make gaming experiences a lot more fun: Don’t be a dickhead. -Brie

    GameKnightReviews has a post by The Gassy Gnoll about social networking for adventures, and discusses using mind maps for RPGs. Do you use these techniques or any social networking tools to run your campaigns? Tell us in the comments! -Brie

    Talk about social networking – GnomeStew has a social media plan for your campaign! -Brie

    Boston.com has some resources for Boston residents looking to “get their geek on” this fall – LARP, tabletop, and lots more. – Brie

    As a past 4-H member, I can’t say how excited I am to see a 4-H camp hosting a LARP event in Pomfret Center (CT, USA). -Brie

    Joystiq’s Storyboard: RP 101 article is mostly talking about video games, but it does a decent job answering a question everyone who plays any RPG will get asked: “What is roleplaying?” I liked this bit:

    “…the heart of roleplaying is that you stop playing your character and start being your character.”-from article






    I'm a 25 year old admin assistant from around Pittsburgh, PA. I am married, work and attend college concurrently, and have been tabletop gaming for about 8 years. I blog (very, very periodically), and write unpublished short stories. I play tabletop RPGs, board games, and both casual and RPG video games. I live for the social part of gaming, but do enjoy a good explosion, and am learning the ropes of creating worlds in which people can play.


    6 Responses to This Week in Gaming

    1. avatar
      September 24, 2012 at 12:57

      Frankly, I cannot use mind maps. My mind doesn’t work that way. It’s a strain for me, and never gains me anything. I do suppose I use social networking a lot, since the mages I take part in happen entirely in text based chat clients these days.

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        September 24, 2012 at 19:16

        Is there something else you might use other than mind maps?

        I use G+ for a lot of my communications with the gaming community, and also Obsidian Portal. I find them to be really useful tools!

        • avatar
          September 29, 2012 at 12:00

          Usually, I memorize my adventures (if I made them myself), or scribble down notes about who is where, and who knows what from modules I bought. Of course, GMing is improvising most of the time, so I keep those pretty slim most of the time. I prefer my notes as a short list or essay-ish text. It’s just easier for me to handle than mind maps.

          Also, I use http://www.scriblink.com/ for sketches of maps (ideal for battles), store online media (mood pictures, more elaborate maps, npc images) at sites like http://www.photobucket.com, run my games on mIRC and occasionally skype, and use either irc-based dice rollers or invisible castle’s dice rolling system.

          I give social networks a berth as wide as possible. I’m just not comfortable using a medium for communication that I know is the equivalent to bugged by everybody on the world as a business model. I use googlemail for non-professional correspondence because I feel the benefits outweigh the potential damage, but with social networks, there is just too much that can go south for me to use them for more than lurking and occasional coordination with real-life friends. That’s probably paranoia, but I’m deeply uncomfortable with their data management and general anti-privacy attitude.

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            October 1, 2012 at 19:34

            Ah, nice. I have a dreadful memory, so memorization doesn’t work well for me.

            I find that G+ is quite useful and not nearly as bogged down. I personally prefer to use my real name on everything, so it works well for me.

    2. avatar
      September 28, 2012 at 05:10

      I must be a luddite. I do not instinctively think of mind maps as a “social networking tool.” In fact, I’m not sure what that means – is anything that has a Facebook App a “social networking tool?”

      Anyway, I use mind maps pretty frequently as a GM for plot planning. It often helps me to list characters (PCs adn NPCs) with their goals underneath them, and connect characters who interact with each other through pursuing their goals or getting in the way of one another’s goals. Plots can come together pretty quickly that way.

      My best example: I was running a game of Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies (a fantasy pirate game and just as awesome as it sounds). The plot of the week was that an elite group of pirates known as the Brethren of the Skull was voting in a new member, and everyone on the pirate island was getting together to vote on who would be getting this great honor. One of the PCs, Cold Captain Karla, had been nominated for the position, and she and the other PCs had a lot of relationships (both good and bloody nasty) with the other nominees and other important people on the island. So the plot was mostly about various pirates trying to screw each other over and influence the vote. I wrote “Web of F***ery” at the top of my paper and started mapping. I put Cold Captain Karla in the middle, and listed the other candidates, PCs, and political players around her, and started drawing lines showing how they were interacting. Poisonings, assassination attempts, magic, spying, rumor-mongering, blackmail, “taking advantage of the inevitable brawl”, etc. By the time I was done making the map, I was cackling at all the horrible things everyone was doing to one another (especially to the PCs). I do not normally get that into messing with my players, but it was so satisfying! And, shockingly enough, the game came off almost as cool in play as it did in the planning. With my map, I always knew who was doing what to whom, and more importantly for the unavoidable making-it-up-as-I-go-because-the-players-did-something-weird moments, I knew why. It worked really well.

      Other tools I use as a GM? I use Microsoft One Note to keep track of all my game and plot info. I know several GMs who use Obsidian Portal. Another GM friend who is an adept programmer and web designer made his own Wiki for all of his Ars Magica games (a game that requires a lot of book keeping to play properly). We could all access it and post information about our characters, and even leave comments on other players’ pages as quotes that our characters “said” about theirs. Yay technology!

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        September 29, 2012 at 02:09

        lizzdreamer – Sorry, I was unclear – I wasn’t meaning to lump mind maps with social networking, I meant to ask if you used one or the other or both of them. My mistake.

        I really liked reading your comment. That sounds like a really fun pirating game! I’ve personally never used a mind map, but this makes me really want to.

        I use Obsidian Portal as well (One of the first “Campaign of the Month”‘s they had was my husband’s “A Deadly Affair” campaign). It’s a really useful tool – we sprung for an ascended account and I love it.

        It’s really cool to see how you use the programs and sites – thanks for sharing!

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