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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 ...


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 ...


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, ...


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 ...


10

Playing short form requires several shifts in technique and approach. My group typically does 2-3 hour sessions. A 4 hour session is a marathon for us. Drop the Filler The first thing to do is let go of filler material. Filler material includes setting up adventures that are "clue to clue to clue to oh actually interesting development". This is 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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


2

A few quick suggestions: Keeping tabs on everything that happened This should be trivial. First, send out an email recap day of game. Second, spend literally five minutes where someone gives a "Last time we played" recap. Others should feel free to chime in, but this should still take no more than a few minutes. Remember - last session was short too, so ...


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 ...


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

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

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

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, ...


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 ...


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 ...



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