One question that I have about the currently-Kickstarting Monarchies of Mau is how the game compares to Pugmire. They are the same world so you should be able to have a joint campaign with both games, but how feasible is this? How do cat characters and dog characters compare? Are they too different to be at the same table? Are they different enough that players can feel the divide? How do they cooperate in-game? Come along and we’ll figure it out together!
I was thinking the other day about all the Dungeons & Dragons campaigns I’ve done in my life. Whether I was running back and forth through the Dalelands, traversing the scorching sands of Athas, or recovering in Sigil from my latest trek to the Lower Planes things were pretty sweet. My characters were all different in their background but they could find adventure and glory if they put their minds to it. Then I thought: why? Today, I’m going to make a case for not doing that.
The Pugmire game is a great example of a light-hearted concept that still leads to dramatic game play. While I’m still waiting to run a full campaign of it (despite having Molly ready and waiting), I’ve been enjoying the actual play videos from No Survivors over at Geek & Sundry. I’m also excited about the Monarchies of Mau Kickstarter, even though it’s about freakin’ cats. I thought I’d look through the Monster Manual and Volo’s Guide to Monsters to see what other options are out there for Pugmire GMs.
Last week I wrote about some tools for making sandbox games easier. I didn’t really think about it at the time, but this fits neatly into Monte Cook Games’s New GM Month, a feature they do every year around this time that is a real benefit to up-and-coming gamemasters for any system. While I don’t really recommend sandbox-style games for the beginning GM, I thought I’d follow it up with some advice for GMs of all levels.
I’ve been laid out sick for several days so I have only a small update today. My favorite way to run games is as a sandbox-style game where players can head off in the direction they like and create the trouble that comes back at them later. This is simply a preference thing and you need players you are into it as much as a GM who can pull it off, but with a little planning you can make it easier.
I really love the Achtung! Cthulhu setting for Call of Cthulhu from Modiphius Press. It’s also for Savage Worlds (using Realms of Cthulhu), but I started into the mythos through the original game and it just doesn’t feel like Cthulhu to me unless I’m rolling percentile dice.
Modiphius has put out two amazing long-term campaigns (Shadows of Atlantis, which I’m currently running, and Assault on the Mountains of Madness which is eagerly awaiting a chance at the table) as well as a series of short scenarios that can be part of a linked campaign or stand-alone. Already looking to expand the options, however, I went through other published Call of Cthulhu scenarios looking for scenarios that you could easily use for an Achtung! Cthulhu game.
Last week, I described using the conspiracy pyramid (or conspyramid) from Night’s Black Agents to make your Eclipse Phase game more spy-heavy. It’s an excellent organizational framework but it’s also a great tool for GMs to use for enhancing their campaigns. One of the best ways to do that is through the threats outlined in the “vampyramid,” the ways that the vampire conspiracies respond to meddling PCs in Night’s Black Agents.