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0

I'm gonna go against the grain of "give the PCs a goal" and say you should make ample use of the sections in the DMG on Downtime Activities; evil characters going out, robbing and stealing to build up an empire of strongholds and seized lands is interesting, challenging and lets them craft their own goals. An evil campaign that's just people running around, ...


0

All of my campaigns in the last 4 years were what most people would generally call evil campaigns. However, I did not force them to be this way. What I did was to create a situation with a rife with conflict; a town under siege, barbarians at the borders, racial tensions between elves and dwarfs, etc. The details don't matter, but the one important aspect ...


0

When I have to split the troupe or give one character a lot of screen time I let players play NPCs and give them just enough information to help them understand what those NPCs want and know. If this is really frequent (the norm) it might not be a bad idea to let them have 2 sets of characters, one for the VR world and one for the Real world.


3

Name things in accordance to your setting. That is names of PC's. A Germanic name as 'Feldgar' sounds medieval, while a name as 'Claudius' sounds Roman. But also names of objects, e.g. use 'gladius' instead of (short) sword. Use imagery. For example, use a printout of the floor plan of an actual Roman villa, of Bathhouse, when describing the entrance into ...


-6

You may be fighting a losing battle. If the players aren't buying into "my world" and you are not keeping up the feel yourself even, then perhaps just go with that. After all it should really be "our world" not "my world" shouldn't it?


2

If you've got a player who's ready and willing, why not recruit a co-GM? The AI player might be an excellent choice (depending on system; I'm not sure a "DMPC" would work well in Fate unless you could work out some decent houserules for modifying the Fate point economy), since they can never participate in the real-world side anyway (again, an assumption), ...


1

Use some kind of troupe system. When the story is in the VR world but a player's character is in the real world, give that player control of a different VR character. When the story is in the real world but a player's character is in VR, give that player control of a different real world character. This could be particularly interesting in a VR with an ...


1

For Ancient Rome I recommend HR5 The Glory of Rome Campaign Sourcebook from TSR for 2nd Edition AD&D. The entire HR series of books is a great source for running historical European setting campaigns. I also recommend HR1 Vikings Campaign Sourcebook and HR3 Celts Campaign Sourcebook. For the Han Dynasty I recommend GURPS Classic: China from Steve ...


1

Cuts, cuts and more cuts between the two (or more) parties. You need to move quickly so as not to get too bogged down on one side of the fence. I like to raise the ante in a scene and then cut back, sort of like mini-cliffhangers. Oh, and using Fate is awesome! You can even use compels to your advantage when shifting...sure, the decker wants to do this, ...


13

This is hard to do well, and requires a lot of practice. Some things to think about that I've learned... Switch between the two groups often. Don't spend long periods of time with one of the groups. For longer encounters have both groups running concurrently and switch between them as rapidly as makes sense and you can keep track of. When you do switch, ...


45

If your players are playing their characters then you are a really lucky GM, and you should be proud of them. But yeah, I understand. We've spent ages preparing an encounter for the group. We've gone over all their possible approaches dozens of times and put stuff to gently railroad them into the right places to cover every eventuality. And yet still, the ...


39

You've only talked about retaliatory responses to players who step out of line. Have you tried a group conversation before the game, so everyone can set parameters and know what they are? That works a lot better than punishing them for crossing lines they didn't know existed. This is especially important with horror games. Suspense, dread, terror, and the ...


1

Another strategy here is to make the supernaturals in your world interact with the mundane world as if they were mundane people. Day (or night) jobs, parenting, transportation, clothes, and shelter can all add interest and depth, or even entire other dimensions, to a seemingly tropish supernatural character; for instance, one of the character concepts I ...


10

Don't show more than you have to Unless you have a very good reason not to, keep appearances of the various supernatural creatures very rare. For example, in a VtM game you have, by default, an excellent reason to have lots of vampire NPCs because the PCs are vampires and the setting encourages them to find each other and interact. However, there is no ...


1

EDIT (Cut since it was OT) So try this approach: "We are the monsters that try to stay humane, but look around, how monstrous are those calling themselves man". WoD (or any similar system) is a dark place, crime,corruption, poverty is much higher than in the real world: teenage girls sell themselves to run away from abusive parents and why you walking down ...


3

Since you mentioned Firefly as your source material, handle it the same way that Firefly handles it. So... When was the last time you saw Jayne or Kaylee swabbing the deck? From memory, never. Boring everyday tasks are boring - it's right there in your description of them! - so they're generally glossed over and ignored. We can assume that someone is ...


6

So, first off, like you said, most of these communities are social. That means that even though they are the 1% they likely all know each other, hang out together, hate each other, and otherwise interact almost solely in their own little supernatural clique. This is also true in real life; the wealthy don't tend to live side by side with the poor and, as a ...


2

As a GM I have run several different RPGs some times with groups as large as eight people the thing that has worked the best for me is to delegate to my "assistant GM" those tasks that are cut and dry mechanics issues. For example when the party enters combat organizing initiative helping keep track of modifiers to attacks or situational and temporary ...


-5

I like the idea of penalties or rewards... You're GOING to keep the ship flying between point A and point B... but we've all had days when the monotony was handled with grace and efficiency... and days when your chores went sideways at every turn. The point is they still get done, your TASKS are never at risk... but if critically fail swabbing the deck, ...


-1

I recommend changing systems to a system with lighter rules. It sounds like most of the players are interested in some kind of objective-based tactical interaction rather than a framework for free-form narrative. Given that, the game I'd most recommend to such a large group is Amber Diceless. The game works best, in my experience, with 6-9 players. It is ...


4

One thing I would suggest is to let your assistants contribute to the other groups' adventures. That way their contributions don't remove the mystery and suspense from their own game. That said, maybe delegate building out the lead-in encounters... the non-plot or plot-tangent encounters that exist due to the setting. You supply the rough outlines of the ...


7

I'll start this with a caveat: I tend to agree with the other answers that rolling for the sake of rolling should generally be avoided; that either narrating or letting the players narrate are generally better options. That said... Assuming you want rolls Assuming you want the players to roll to perform routine maintenance: roll once per day (or ...


23

Although usually D&D focused, the AngryDM has a great series of articles on running RPGs which are relevant to many different systems. One relevant excerpt from, Five Simple Rules for Dating my Teenaged Skill System is, "Only Roll When There is Chance of Success, A Chance of Failure, and A Risk or Cost of Failure". In other words, if there aren't any ...


42

Sparingly. You've said it yourself. These tasks are repetitive and, most of the time, boring. They're still useful to pepper your narrative with, though, to establish background. This adds flavor and realism to the experience : It's night shift aboard the Dragonfly. Boris is working on the starboard engine and Garry is calibrating the systems when ...


2

It's pretty clear that your game group wants to play a different game than what you want to run. You've mentioned that your games don't last more than a session - so this means you've done it multiple times, right? Do we actually want to play the same game? So, here's the process I can offer. I've made a tool called The Same Page Tool - by yourself, sit ...


1

As a master i faced this problem since the beginning: i always like to include some sort of exploration in my adventure, and wide fighting areas, resulting in big maps. The best and practical way i use to deal with it is to draw the map while the characters see the actual part of it, but dividing the map in "drawing zones". When the characters step in ...


5

So, a lot of people mentioned this in comments but it doesn't appear to be adequately covered in the answers yet: Start a new campaign! You will save yourself immense amounts of headache. You should, of course, have a conversation with your former party members who are now your players about this, but you almost certainly can't take over the other GMs ...


22

Talk to your players as people "Hey guys, so I'm taking over to finish out this campaign. You know and I know that this game is already complicated enough, and the previous DM did a lot of game design with math the books don't support at all, and I'm not going to be able to match or meet that. So here's what we're gonna do - I'm going to ...


4

You've definitely landed yourself in a pretty crappy situation there. The only definite way you're going to keep everyone happy is to continue DMing like the last guy did, which you're clearly not okay with. There are two solutions that I see to your problem. Make them want to give up the items Just outright taking the items and telling your players ...


4

No, there isn't. Option 1: Power Everybody Up You can give everybody gear to bring them up to parity with the most overpowered character: everybody has a god-like attack bonuses, defenses, damage, and health (with variances for stats and classes, of course). Option 2: Nerf Everybody Take away all of the shinies, and replace them with level-appropriate ...


1

I am defeating this by starting it out early. I am starting with a WOD Innocents campaign where several players are children and learn to work together and trust each other so much before their change that they WANT to cooperate after their changes.


-4

Consider this: because the knowledge granted by the Maelstrom is so great, the character can't take it all at once. Instead, little visions come by as the player needs them. If it is a font of magic knowledge, then the player wakes up one morning knowing this handy new spell, or sees a vision of the Cheshire Cat or their dead grandmother teaching it to ...


2

Create a custom move The Apocalpyse World Advanced [Snip]ery chapter shows some ways to change the action by including some custom moves. I suggest something like: The physic maelstrom [snip]s your brain. If you open your brain to the physic maelstorm Roll+Weird. The MC tells you something interesting and new about the situation. He may ask one or two ...


0

I heard about a video game (I can't remember the title) that simulated madness by displaying this message after the player saved his game: "save file successfully deleted". This was totally fake, the save file was OK, but just imagine the psychological impact after tens of hours of gameā€¦ My point is, you could use the same kind of trick, showing the PCs a ...


5

What's nice is that you don't necessarily need to give hard rules for insanity - you can simply turn up the usual problems of the Apocalypse's weirdness and basic rules for Acting Under Fire, Fronts, etc. "Act Under Fire?" "You wake up, covered in sweat. That last trip into the brainmess that is the Maelstrom leaves you feeling quesy and off. You reach ...


21

This is tricky territory. Assuming you're staying completely within the Agenda and Principles, you're not permitted to lie to the players about what's happening. You're also not permitted to have secret plans that aren't yet part of the actual play. This limits your ability to have unrevealed secrets that you know are true. The nature and fact of a PC's ...


0

I'm assuming Hit Dice that work like in D&D 3.5 here, because I'm not familiar enough with older versions. I hope they're similar enough that this holds up. Racial Hit Dice These represent how tough a creature naturally is. Any creature of the same species will have these simply by being (an adult, healthy) member of that species. They are based ...


2

I've found that the best way to do this is to remove specific components entirely. Instead, require something that makes poetic sense and fluff the spell slightly differently depending on what component is used, adding minor bonuses/penalties as you see fit. For example (taken from some notes I have from a game I GMed forever ago): Fireball: Bat ...



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