Behind the Scenes: A Handy Online Gaming Resource

Hello, readers!  This is Jarred.  I’m afraid that I won’ t be posting the next installment of the main story today per my usual schedule. I was feeling rather off yesterday and did not feel I could be an attentive, involved, and creative player. I asked Deb and Joe if we could cancel yesterday’s D&D session, as I really didn’t want to engage in shitty role-playing, which would have then resulted in shitty writing today. It seemed better to postpone advancing the story for a week rather than disappoint Joe, Deb, you, and myself with substandard playing and writing.  So hopefully Urizenya, Graenas, and Danny will be able to stomach the stench of the gray-skinned gnome’s corpse for one more week and no random monsters will attack them in our absence.

Since I don’t want to leave you completely empty-handed, I thought I’d take a moment to share and talk about a gaming resource — one which does not sponsor or endorse this blog in away way (I doubt Guy even knows this blog exists) — that both Joe and I have personally enjoyed.  And that’s the site GreatGameMaster.com and the underlying YouTube channel.

Guy, the public face of GreatGM, does videos categorized into a number of series.  The two series that Joe and I are most interested in are How to be a Great GM (which I find interesting, but of somewhat limited value to me as a mere player) and How to be a Great Player. The thing that I like about Guy’s videos is that he focuses almost exclusively on the story-telling and character development aspects of role-playing. He’s not interested in game mechanics and frequently points out that there are other channels that cover game mechanics. As someone who is trying to turn his own gaming sessions into a narrative story, I appreciate his focus, as it helps me think of ways to put enough story elements into my game play to help flesh out the narrative afterward.

One (old) video from the Great Player series that I particularly liked was Guy’s discussion of player character quirks:

I haven’t actually developed any quirks for my characters (though Graenas’s love of sewing might turn into one, as it’s something I see him doing whenever he’s upset or stressed). But watching this video reaffirmed my idea that characters need little traits that go beyond just helping them in the next encounter or make them a better combatant. After all, I’m trying to tell a story and my characters need more depth than “I successfully collected the required number of bear rumps and am ready to receive the next quest.” Otherwise, it’s going to get awful boring for you, my readers. Not to mention terribly boring for me.

At any rate, that’s all I have for you today.  I hope to get back to sharing the twins’ and Danny’s story with you next week. In the meantime, do you have any favorite role-playing and story-telling resources? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

May all your adventures be compelling!

Jarred.