The Role of GM
Maybe you think that being the GM is beyond you, or that it’s just not your cup of Earl Grey Tea, but I’m here to tell you that you can do it! Trying out the GM role is a great way to exercise your creativity muscle and become a better player. Plus, your current GM will thank you for the chance to play! Here are some tools that you might find useful along the road to becoming a better GM. I’m going to try to not overload this page because we know that more choices can be overwhelming, so these suggestions are ones that I’ve tried and approved.
Solo Game Engines
Ever think about being your own GM? I was hesitant at first, and it does take some getting used to, but it’s a very rewarding use of time especially when you can tie it back to some of the great solo play communities out there. (Check out the Lone Wolf Roleplaying on Google+ as an example!) Not only can these be used for solo RPG play, but you can use them in a live GM situation to help you be creative on the fly.
Mythic GM Emulator
Mythic is definitely the leader when it comes to GM emulation engines. This is great for solo play or even replacing your GM at the table so everyone can be players.
Conjectural Roleplaying GM Emulator
The CRGE is a little simpler to run than Mythic, and it has some cool mechanics that push for more random events to pop up the longer you play.
RPG Solo Website
RPGSolo.com took its cues from Mythic and tried to make a solo game engine digital. You can log in and save quests as well (which my own tool doesn’t do), but this inspired me to improve on their design.
Let’s face it. This is why you’re scared of taking the GM seat: the prep time. Well, fear not! Here are some resources to help cut down on your prep time and make solid story lines while you’re at it.
The Lazy DM
The Lazy DM has a lot of great tips put into a small, concise document. The ideas on player connections and adventure development are great.
The GameMaster’s Apprentice Decks
These card decks can help provide GM inspiration right on the spot. The linked set below is for a fantasy setting, but he has many different genres to choose from.
Encounter Building Decks
These are card decks I designed myself, and I have four decks available. The Decisions deck helps make decisions like a solo oracle. The Locations deck gives you random rooms when in four separate environments plus info on secrets, doors, etc. The Traps deck gives you traps while the Combat deck gives you random info on combatants including their strategy and motivation.
Check out the rules document here.
What is the personality of that NPC? What would they want to talk about? How about just a name? Here are some tools to help put some life into your NPCs.
The Universal NPC Emulator
I find this document inspiring! While a digital version of this would be best (who needs to roll on tables when you’re trying to run on the fly?), this document provides a solid foundation for how to get NPCs and even generate some meaningful conversation. It’s the inspiration for my own NPC Conversation Driver that I’m building.