Author Topic: GameMaster Utilities  (Read 1622 times)

Offline computerking

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 390
    • View Profile
    • Into the Dark
GameMaster Utilities
« on: December 07, 2011, 01:33:00 PM »
Hey, let's share those little things that we've found to help run games.

example: I constantly forget to mention weather when my campaign isn't focused on some sort of weather spell. I just found this site, which is a Random Weather Generator (other Random Generators are on this page, but the Weather one is very cool), and it includes supernatural weather elements if you want it to.

http://donjon.bin.sh/d20/weather/

So,what little thing have you found that might help others improve their games?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 01:36:02 PM by computerking »
I'm the ComputerKing, I can Do Anything...
Into the Dark, A Podcast dedicated to Villainy
www.savethevillain.com

PS: %^#@ Orbius. This may or may not be relevant to the discussion, but whatever.

Offline admiralducksauce

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 577
    • View Profile
Re: GameMaster Utilities
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2011, 02:35:16 PM »
Plexiglass sheets and wet-erase markers.

You can draw your zone map right on the sheet, or (this is my preferred method) draw the map on paper or whatever, slide the map underneath the plexiglass, and then annotate it on the sheet with the wet-erase markers.  You can mark scene aspects or changes to the map easily this way.


Offline sinker

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2115
    • View Profile
Re: GameMaster Utilities
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2011, 08:16:27 PM »
We (legitimately) raided a school that was about to be torn down for one of those 5' by 8' or 10' white boards. It's awesome. Same concept though.

Offline admiralducksauce

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 577
    • View Profile
Re: GameMaster Utilities
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2011, 08:35:35 PM »
Nice.  Showerboard at Home Depot or wherever is fairly cheap as well, although most of it is slightly textured and won't be as smudge-free as a purpose-built whiteboard.  Still, if you prefer dry-erase there are ways to do it without expressly paying for the actual whiteboards.

I wanted to be able to put stuff underneath the main surface, otherwise I would've gone with a whiteboard too.

Offline devonapple

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2165
  • Parkour to YOU!
    • View Profile
    • LiveJournal Account
Re: GameMaster Utilities
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2011, 11:50:52 PM »
Whiteboards are awesome. You can even get whiteboards with a preprinted dot grid of 1-inch squares, for use in your miniatures games.

I am using the AwesomeNote app to store my Faces, Locations and other data, and I even set them up with example images so that I view each one almost like a playing card, so the celebrity portraits I associate with each NPC make them easy to navigate. I can pull them up on my iPhone during game for reference, and if I need to edit them, I can; and if I want to edit them more drastically, I have them synced to GoogleDocs, where I can edit them at a regular computer with an internet connection.

Before then, I was using index cards on which I had placed labels with the Face/Location/etc. information on the front. Those cards were placed in a particular kind of clear plastic photo archive (holds 5 index cards to a page) which were then placed in a 3-ring binder.
"Like a voice, like a crack, like a whispering shriek
That echoes on like itís carpet-bombing feverish white jungles of thought
That Iím positive are not even mine"

Blackout, The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets

Offline Watson

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 161
    • View Profile
Re: GameMaster Utilities
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2011, 07:24:31 AM »
Some things are already mentioned, but the things that I have found very useful are whiteboard (2x3 feet, been using this for some 5 years), index cards (new for DF) as well as a list of names (also new for DF). The list of names is taken from the most common names in the US, and is divided to have columns for male, female and last name.

Offline Malraza

  • Participant
  • *
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
Re: GameMaster Utilities
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2011, 06:48:47 PM »
I'm of the opinion that a white board is invaluable. I never used to use one but once I did they rapidly got bigger and bigger from a little one just to track initiative on, to a 2x3 one to one I likewise raided from a school that was surplussed. Now it takes up all the space over my mantel and I still want another one. Very useful, very addictive.

For Dresden I love being able to quickly sketch up zones, attach aspects to areas, and track NPC stress and aspects. I'm not sure if most boards will do it but mine is magnetic so I can use colored magnet circles to track all the characters involved very easily.

Offline devonapple

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2165
  • Parkour to YOU!
    • View Profile
    • LiveJournal Account
Re: GameMaster Utilities
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2011, 10:55:33 PM »
I especially love whiteboards for tracking the Declarations for a given Thaumaturgy Ritual, showing the shifts needed as they are gathered, then grouping the shifts exchange by exchange as they are controlled. Excellent for illustrating a spell build.
"Like a voice, like a crack, like a whispering shriek
That echoes on like itís carpet-bombing feverish white jungles of thought
That Iím positive are not even mine"

Blackout, The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets

Offline Katarn

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2673
  • Morgan- Best Warden ever.
    • View Profile
Re: GameMaster Utilities
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2011, 04:40:34 PM »
Digital Resources:
1)  THIS SITE- Some of my best ideas have come from or been critiqued here.
2)  Wikipedia- Basic info about anything, great if you're a GM with an eye for detail.  If you like to give a specific history context, some countries have pages "(country) in (year)" that can give great real-world context.
3)  Invisible Castle- rolls and records dice rolls (alternatively, random.org or wizard's have them as well)
4)  The PDFs- it's good to have multiple copies of Your Story lying around (maybe not Our World though- personally my players don't have that one so they can't just look up what I'm throwing at them)
5)  D&D, other RPGs- find unique creature builds online, then adapt them here.
6)  DFRPG wikis- I know of least 2 floating around, with example settings and such- this one, and the one I'm just starting with info about the various games I've played (I'm sure there are more).

Offline HumAnnoyd

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 244
    • View Profile
    • Dresden Files Accelerated: The Emerald City: Requiem
Re: GameMaster Utilities
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2011, 09:47:17 PM »
I think the most useful tool I have utilized recently is Obsidian Portal.  It has really made running a game a breeze right off of my laptop.  And I run the game in a conference room at work complete with the white boards which are a great help too.  Below is a link to my campaign site there:

http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/the-emerald-city

It's not the Heat, It's the Humanity.

The Emerald City Dresden Files Accelerated Campaign:   http://fate-accelerated-the-emerald-city.obsidianportal.com/

Offline Malraza

  • Participant
  • *
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
Re: GameMaster Utilities
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2011, 09:49:29 PM »
Digital Resources:
1)  THIS SITE- Some of my best ideas have come from or been critiqued here.
I was totally all "What the hell, the link won't work...Oh...OH! Yeah!"

Offline Quackerjack

  • Participant
  • *
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
Re: GameMaster Utilities
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2011, 10:55:09 PM »
I was totally all "What the hell, the link won't work...Oh...OH! Yeah!"
:D Same here.

Offline Katarn

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2673
  • Morgan- Best Warden ever.
    • View Profile
Re: GameMaster Utilities
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2011, 03:12:07 AM »
I was totally all "What the hell, the link won't work...Oh...OH! Yeah!"

 ;D

Offline Quackerjack

  • Participant
  • *
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
Re: GameMaster Utilities
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2011, 08:50:48 AM »
It's an evil "Non-Link-Link"!