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.
Tomorrow is the opening day for X-Men: Apocalypse, the latest of Fox’s X-Men movie franchise. After some missteps with X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine I’m really liking this series of movies again and looking forward to seeing Apocalypse come to the big screen. In celebration, I’ve put together some resources for playing a scenario in this alternate timeline using Marvel Heroic Roleplaying.
First, though, I want to present my list of skills for Mouse Guard FATE. It’s mostly the same as in the FATE core rulebook but with a few adjustments, including a new stunt that’s flexible for any skill.
When I was a kid I read through the Redwall books obsessively. The peril of mice trying to defend their land against outsiders seems like it would be a silly endeavor but it’s really compelling. In the same vein, the Mouse Guard series is a knighthood of mice defending their Territories against predators but it has the advantage of being a graphic novel series as well. If you don’t know it, definitely check it out.