Category: Game Master’s Corner (Page 1 of 2)

Roll 20 RPG Virtual Tabletop Products

Awesome art assets for #Roll20 #RPG #dnd #pathfinder #savageworlds

Check out the New Gods of Mankind Roll 20 selection and let us enhance your next game. All products created for intent and use on Roll 20. Some figures you can find on Drive Thru RPG as stock card figures. Check out the whole selection. Links are provided on each art asset.

A three part series of demonstrations on how to use these assets coming soon!

Fantasy Villagers for your next virtual tabletop game

Fantasy Villagers and Heroes

2D Isometric Buildings Great for Making Maps in Roll20

Fantasy Village Buildings

Gorgeous 2D Isometric Buildings great for making maps in Roll 20

Fantasy Town and City Buildings

Great 2d Isometric Terrain and tiles to go along with the buildings

Terrain and Tiles Pack 1

Great Elder Races of Naalrinnon ready to fight for you.

Elder Races and Leviathans

Bring forth the gods and their champions

Gods and Champions Pack

Great items to collect and put into your next game

Fantasy Items and Collectibles

Excellent collection of weapons and armor available for your next roll20 game

Fantasy Weapons and Armor

Great collection of tokens ready to use for your next game

Fantasy Tokens and Markers

Get these cool symbols and markers for your next rpg tabletop game

Celebration Decoration and Status

Great Leviathans and Heroes await

Ancient Foes and Heroes

A host of artist contributed to this collection including, Joe Slucher, Eric Lofgren, Chris Malidore, Josh Finney, Jason Juta, Adam Schmidt, Jeremy McHugh, Frank Walls, and more.

Get the full collection of New Gods of Mankind books here. 

Selling Your Tabletop RPG Adventure to Players

Wild Hair RPG Tabletop Player Schemes

Game Masters deal with many problems during a tabletop roleplay session. Player issues become the highest percentage of problems. GMs plan and prepare for all sorts of paths a character can take. Yet players will do unpredictable decisions. Often based on little to no information, except for what the Game Master explains. Everything the GM utters players process and use to further make decisions. The decision to take the fork in the road or the tunnel down below comes down to player thoughts. Each fork, turn, tunnel and path becomes influenced directly by the Game Master.

If you want players to go down a path, don’t force them to go there.

Sell The Path To Your Players.

Salesmanship is one of many social tools a game master needs in her bag of goodies. You need to sell your players on the paths you want them to go down. This is not railroading. Players should always have a choice. The art of persuasion can lead to many great nights of gaming for the game master and the players. Along with improvisation this can turn an ordinary night of frustration into smooth sailing for both players and game master. Instead of creating a 20 hour dungeon that no one wants to go into, you create an appealing place both players and game masters want to explore. Below, you will find several tips on how to sell the game scenario you set up to player.

  • Understand your players.
    • You need to know your players. Game Masters who do not will have a tougher time creating a collaborative atmosphere and selling your players. It’s great to game with people you grew up with in High School. Old friends and family make for great player groups. Knowing what makes a person tick will help game masters sell new content.
    • For the game master getting a group of players who are strangers can bring lots of problems. If you don’t know the players, sit down and talk to them. Ask them straightforward questions about ethics, conduct and what they expect out of a gaming session. You should get an idea of who they are after the interview. Creating a social contract brings lots of value with unknown players.
  • Use your words wisely
    • What you say as a game master players take to heart. Do not mince words, or throw about harsh words casually. Make a habit of listening to players twice as much as talking. Ask questions about each player’s intentions. Ensure both players and game master talk in clear terms. Words are powerful and you can bring joy or ruin to a participant’s experience. Choose your words carefully.
  • Talk about the value in your proposed event, scenario, path
    • This is where you “sell” the portion of the game you worked hard on. Make sure you ask a few questions to yourself players would ask.
      • Why would I go there?
      • What is in it for my character?
      • Does this event, scenario or path match the player’s possible choices she would make?
      • If I was playing a character, would I go here?
    • If the answer is no to at least two of the questions, you might want to reevaluate the idea. Reconfigure how it shows up. If it’s a surprise, make sure it is one players would respect.
  • Create excitement
    • When you talk about the necromancer’s castle in the distance, do you say it with enthusiasm? Maybe hint at the untold riches lying in wait? Old art and valuables lying around? Talk to the player’s sense of excitement. Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm. Bring an extra oomph to your voice.

Closing the Plot Point

Presentation and wording will help your castle get discovered. Knowing your players and what they like helps to create the visuals, by words or props. It’s not recommended to railroad players into going towards the castle. But make a compelling case for your players to explore your hard worked dungeon. When you get done creating the weekend adventure, don’t forget to plan out how you will convince them the rewards is greater than the risk.

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You can discover more articles in our archives here.

Check out our Dungeons and Dragons Store. More stuff coming soon!

Original cover artwork by Mark Facey.

Other art by Armando Gil.

Get our latest book, Salamanders of House Draax at our store.

May RPG Publishing Update for New Gods of Mankind

It’s time for the RPG community to see what is coming in 2017 for New Gods of Mankind.

Lots of kick ass rpg updates here and 2017 will be a busy year for Dark Skull Studios and New Gods of Mankind. Off to the races and the following  RPG PDF books releases come out this year. Original artwork created by Michael Jaecks for our first book New Gods of Mankind. This artwork will grace the cover of our first adventure Shipwrecked and Surrounded.

Three adventures will come out in June, July and August.

The first is nearly done in draft form.

Shipwrecked and Surrounded brings to life a small island deserted where players get stranded after a sea voyage as slaves. Players first fight for survival against Salamanders of House Draax. Then a more sinister threat rears its head as a captured Leviathan breaks free and wreaks havoc on the island. Leviathans need to feed on fear so it will come after the players in many ways. Can your players survive shipwrecked and surrounded?
Demonic Sylph Traders takes place in Naalgrom with a whole small clan of sylphs willfully possessed and roaming around the wilds. Known as the Dark Star Clan and rejected by all other sylphs they seek allies and new trade alliances, even with New Gods and their Anointed Heroes. See what adventures and wares they have as their caravan and flock come to your village.
The Wood Nymph Thief brings the community of Wood Nymphs to life. A Legendary Artifact created by a powerful Leviathan during the first Leviathan War now is missing from the temple of Baesop in Hrace. Scouts and bounty hunters seek out this meddlesome Wood Nymph to return the artifact. The Wood Nymph turns up in the New Gods of Mankind village. But more than the human scouts seek out this powerful artifact.

One final thing is the Leviathan Character Sheet.

This FREE character sheet is great for Game Masters to use when making bad guys. It will be in form fillable fields in PDF.
Come by and see our store on RPG Now.  Or just pick up a copy of the first book that started it all.
We will be adapting the rules for New Gods of Mankind for Savage Worlds. This will take place next year, possibly funded by a Kickstarter. Also on the horizon, a full print and PDF book, Darkness over Kathonia campaign which leads to the second Leviathan war.
Get a copy of the BASIC New Gods of Mankind rules FREE if you want to check out and learn more about this universe. 
Stop by the store and see what we have in stock for you.

Changes to Our TableTop Game Store

Game Store Changes

Hey everyone,

We made a lot of changes to our Tabletop Game Store!  We added several sections including a Dungeons and Dragons section and a market affiliate program with Amazon. Darrell Hardy kindly put up some of his books up here in the Ghost Puncher Section. Angry Ogre put some PDFs into the store for their selection of Board Games. We plan to add more products soon. Sales of our products in the store fund our website and help us to expand. If you need to buy a D&D book, or any other table-top game material consider our portal.

Richard Leon has slacked off of posting so apologies. This will become a weekly thing now. More Game content from now on!

New Gods of Mankind Salamanders of House Draax

Salamanders of House Draax is right around the corner. We plan to release it by next week. Next Monday is the goal. Edits are happening. New content added. Check out an edited excerpt below.

Naalgrom Ports

Sssnamon

Qann

Qann sits to the far east of Naalgrom, a lonely port city burning night and day. Once an outpost during the War of Elements, it grew into an elegant port city befitting its benefactor, Draax. Surrounded by inhospitable wastes and hostiles this port stands isolated and well protected. Here the main temple to Draax stands erects to the Dragon God of the Boiling Seas. Gray stone walls and cobblestone white streets stand in contrast to wooden blue shops with white dragon tiled roofs. A dark blue granite temple trimmed in gold stands at the heart of the city. The Needle of Draax, towering over 300 ft into the air guides ships into the secured harbor. Artificial sea walls stand erect around the port, with small towers at every corner. Inside the small city a healthy trade of exotic slaves and beasts takes place.

Landmarks and Noteworthy Places:

The Needle of Draax

The Needle of Draax looms over the Bay of Qann near the main harbor, isolated on a small outcropping of rocks. Once destroyed by an Undine fleet, the bronze and white marble tower stands rebuilt. It gleams during the day casting a bright yellow-orange flame with a green tinge across the surrounding coasts. A huge mirror inside the top of the lighthouse helps push the light around. The bright yellow-orange flame with its special green ting aura is unique in the whole world. This special light signals all who come near this port, this area belongs to House Draax and the goddess herself.

The Main Harbor of Qann

Large, blue grey walls towering over 50 feet protect the main Harbor of Qann. An underwater sea maze of artificial stones, wave barriers and levies hampers unwelcomed vessels. The harbor master protects the harbor with a garrison of three Shimmering Fang Companies. Shimmering Fangs companies patrol each sea tower and wall. Human, Gnome and Undine saboteurs still continue to attack this harbor.

Draax’s Main Temple

Draax’s Temple towers over the whole port city a huge sea blue granite building cut by the goddess herself. The structure itself has over four wings connecting to a central pool area and sits in the center of the town. Near the central pool is a vast throne room covered in gold and lapis lazuli for the Merchant Queen of Naalgrom. Inside the Merchant Queen’s room is an inner sanctum where the Merchant Queen can commune with the goddess herself. In front of the temple’s southern gates is a life-size statue of Draax herself, painted in detail to look like the goddess incarnate. The boiling sea pools within the center of the temple are world famous.

During the summer months thousands of members of House Draax come to Qann for a pilgrimage. Worshippers make this pilgrimage to Draax’s Temple at least once during their lifetime. Every salamander house knows the Feasts of Draax, is a wild orgy event. Many salamanders conceive during this season long festival. Hostels and Inns fill up during the summer months in the City of Qann.

Slaver’s Market

Inside near the warehouse district sits the Slaver’s Market, a selection of unique people from all over the world of Naalrinnon. This market is an internal market for members of House Draax only. A majority of the slaves are humans, but the occasional Undine, Wood Nymph and Gnome make their way into the market. Several Sylphs help to run the market and do their best to keep it a secret from the other species of Naalrinnon. The summer months is when this market does its best business, right along with the Festival of Draax.

Exotic Beasts Market

The Exotic Beasts Market is a recent addition to Qann. Originally started as a Sylph emporium, it turned into a huge market ran by Salamander Merchant Priests, Sylphs and a few humans as well. Merchants procure and sell all types of beasts including many types of Lashon and the mimic predator, Nassyx. Many salamanders from every House visit this place in this walled off district. Fresh meats from these exotic animals fetch a high price.

Oh and check out the awesome cardstock buildings we have in the store. 

Temple of the Gods Richard Leon

  • Time to worship your god. Some places require a place of worship. Give your followers a place to call home with our set. Customization flames and pillars set this set apart from other buildings. Check it out and bring your village to life
  • Dark Skull Studios

Stay on Target: Keeping Distracted Table-Top Gamers Engaged

If you ever played a table-top role-playing game you understand about distractions. Endless diversions hampering plot, game play and flow. Sometimes you get together and it seems as if you might as well meet at a bar and get it over with. The game master and several players might enjoy a few straying conversations. But often too much conversation not related to game will dampen everyone’s fun. Lighthearted conversations and off topic jokes CAN kill game sessions, ruining the fun for everyone.

I have a few suggestions on how to keep everyone on target and working towards a fun night of gaming.

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Running a Con Game Like a Pro

Are you a Game Master for your RPG group? Good for you! You’re the backbone of the hobby! Are you thinking about running an RPG at a convention? That’s great too, but while GMing for your group of friends is one thing, running for a group of strangers you may never see again is something else entirely.

With that in mind, I’d like to share a few thoughts on what I think goes into running a good one-shot RPG session at a a game convention.

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Three Tips for New Game Masters

Darrell Hardy here! A while back, I had the privilege of speaking on a couple panels at the Fort Collins Comic Con. (Unofficial motto: “We’re bigger than you think!”)

The panels were all about running tabletop roleplaying games. Together with Bill Keyes, Sean Patrick Fannon, and Ross Watson, we answered questions from the surprisingly-large crowd about how to get started as a GM, how to keep your players happy, and how to keep a long-term campaign from catching fire, crashing through a line of school children, and plummeting into a pit of giant snakes far below.

We were thrilled at the number of new Game Masters in attendance. As Sean pointed out, the only way the hobby (and the industry) expands is by more people stepping up to the challenge of running RPGs; we can only have as many gaming groups as we have GMs. While the old guard can keep it going, new blood is what makes it grow.

Especially with the new GMs in mind, I’d like to share three recurring bits of advice from the panels:

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The Dice of Creation

Ever since discovering tabletop RPGs in junior high, I’ve been in awe of the amazing powers that dice can have, not only in determining the outcome of the story, but in the actual creation of the story’s world. I’m speaking here largely of random charts and their power to not only inspire, but to create reality on the fly.

In eighth grade, I created a solo dungeon-crawling game consisting of a sheet of graph paper, a fistful of dice, a pencil, and a half-dozen index cards with random charts on them. You enter the dungeon: roll to see if there’s a room or a hallway. If it’s a room, roll for number of exits and roll for contents. Is it is monster? Roll it. A trap? Roll it.

There was a system for combat and damage, of course, but the meat of the game was exploration. Only it wasn’t really exploration, it was creation. The world was created with every roll of the dice.

(During this time, one of my gaming friends made his own exceptionally-random system that perhaps took it a step too far. A classic line that lives to this day is, “You are attacked by a [clatter of dice] snake! It attacks you with its [clatter of dice] hooves!” That sort of old-school gonzo gaming would be a lot of fun today, but I was far too mature for it at the time.)

In college, I ran a year-long campaign of NightLife, which — since the players were running vampires and werewolves and other monsters with an insatiable appetite for disposable NPCs — inspired me to whip up another random table. With ten seconds and a single roll of a handful of dice, I could create a living, breathing person… at least, that person’s general appearance and personality. Before the players turned down that alley, that person didn’t exist — not even as a note on my Game Master’s idea pad. Most of them didn’t survive the encounter (“My, what big teeth you have — oh no!”), but some had such a spark of life that they went on to become allies and recurring NPCs — a spark of life given them, like Frankenstein’s lightning, by the dice.

As I’ve grown older and my gaming time more limited, I find myself using dice to create the world before the game rather than just on the fly. I made a number of charts myself: What’s that magic level? Roll it! The core theology? Roll it! What are the key imports, exports, and trade agreements? Roll, roll, roll!

While I might end up just writing about these worlds rather than actually playing in them, the thrill from eighth grade is still there: I’m creating worlds, people, and stories with nothing more than a pencil, a chart… and a handful of dice.

Get more dice here!

Get Darrell’s awesome Ghost Puncher eBooks here!

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Four Tips for Running RPGs for Kids

I love gaming with my kids. I especially love playing tabletop roleplaying games with them. Over the years, I’ve come up with a handful of tips that keep the game smooth and fun, even if your players are still in grade school. I’m posting them here, both as a public service to gamer parents, and as a reminder to myself: this, future-self, is how you have fun.

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Faking It – The Art of Game Master Improvisation

Game Masters need to be able to adapt quickly. When the players zig when you expect them to zag onto the trail you’ve painstakingly laid out before them, you need to be able to just go with it, rolling their detour into your game story like you’d planned for it all along.

Here are some quick tips for doing just that. (Old pros will probably nod and say to themselves, “Obviously that it how it should be done,” but new GMs will hopefully find some value here.)

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