Seize the GM
Seize the GM
Episode 145: How to be a good citizen at the game table
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Main Topic

When you are sitting at the table to play a game what are you doing? Are you waiting to be led to the next thing or are you engaging in the game? How do you, as a GM more often than not, make a gaming table more fun, fulfilling, and low stress for another GM? That is what we are going to be talking about on this episode of Seize the GM. 

  • Take the Clue or Hint and run with it – Make the GM’s life easy by engaging with the plot elements that are presented. We’ve all had games where the players actively ignored the plot hints right in front of them or made an effort to derail what was put in the world; don’t be that player to another GM.
  • Give Other Players Spotlight Time – It is easy to crave the chance to roleplay only one character when you finally are on the players’ side of the GM Screen, but remember to share. Being a GM means you may play support characters more often and work to ensure other players are engaged. Like when you GM, have your character grab the character that hasn’t spoken up in half an hour and get them into the thick of it. 
  • Be Mechanically Adept – Know your character’s mechanics. Be ready to answer a GM’s question about what any unusual powers or special rules may be for what you are playing. You should have a good command of the rule system anyway, but pick up as much mental slack for the GM as possible by being ready to apply your character to the world. There are a bunch of “crutches” you can use, from notecards, sticky tabs in your book, even a basic list of your powers and what books and what pages they can be found in.

Be Generous, Be Friendly, and Be Good

Stat Blocks

Zendead

I don’t have anything tonight. Sorry the block is real right now. 

Joules

Whose Miracle

“If everything is a blessing, then either nothing’s a blessing or the gods are incredibly fucked up.”

-ZIppy Toetag

If you actually think about it, the concept that everything is a miracle can be incredibly hilarious and/or abjectly terrifying.  To go to an old standby, take the platypus.  Dionysus is all like,”Yeah sorry man, there was a rager the other night, and while I’ll not explicitly state its nature, there was a wager involved.”  But everyone thinks of that one.  Now let’s consider Beethoven.  If you think about it, he was blessed by Apollo (God of Music) and Harpocrates (God of Silence).  What a horrific, tortured existence.  Created brilliant timeless compositions that he would never hear.  

Heck, you could be the innocent bystander in the granting of someone else’s miracle.  Sure Thor may smite some guy’s enemy with lightning, but you were standing next to said enemy at the crosswalk. And Thor’s not too concerned about splash damage. Lightning arcs and now you’re in the hospital and all your electronics are fried.

Well at least you can point the blame rather than deal with the concept of a cold unfeeling universe.

And I’m not going to even start with how the muses would fit into all this.  

But there remains one last thing that folks don’t consider.  The miracles and blessings of long lost gods.  Forgotten gods, whose worshipers have been dead for hundreds/thousands of years. Adherents beseeching their deities to have the earth swallow up their enemies, for the rains to fall upon the land and make it fertile, for food to be plentiful. If you think about it, really think about it, it may explain sinkholes, dams breaking and flooding the lowlands and locust swarms (high in protein).  

How to Use Whose Miracle in Game:

Kind of a way to turn the whole “gods influence the world” Paradigm on its head

Guard-a-Manger

The Shattered Labyrinth

Cloaked in an ever-dense fog amidst the Blotackian Fen, a particular ruin lies waiting while it sinks slowly beneath the encroaching miasma. That can’t be right. The deserted ruins you are looking for are in the Khonfarga desert only being revealed from the ever shifting sands once a generation. That seems wrong too … the clues from the history book point to a Lushithani mountain pass that is permanently covered in snow and ice blocking the way to the sheer cliff face that holds the thousand and one steps to the Shattered Labyrinth.

It is confounding to have so many clues that all lead to different locations … Where do you start? You need the lost and hidden knowledge of a time long gone and the ruins are the only lead you’ve been able to identify. Now you have to race to … one of the three ahead of whoever else is on this fool’s errand. Days of travel, searing winds or quicksand, frozen lakes or sand dunes, and avalanches or grasping vines leave you weary and depleted but you arrive at the entry of the Shattered Labyrinth. Traps, hostile inhabitants, crazed foliage, and more have all tried to stop you but that is behind you now. Literally! You need to get inside!

The danger seems to be passed, as the vaulted doors close behind you to a surprisingly well kept and tidy “Shattered Labyrinth.” It isn’t too long before you make your way deeper into the depths, your torches flickering ominously as you follow the twists and turns of this ossuary to a dead Empire. One by one you pass by doorways and glance through the slightly ajar doors – you see a swamp, the desert sands, a frozen cliff face, and more … you see exits or maybe entrances from all of the stories locations. The seven archways in this hall each with a glyph over the keystone lead to different PLACES. 

Your shock has barely faded when you hear a voice as clear as day, “Dear, did you invite anyone over for dinner? Because we have visitors. No, I most certainly did not; you will not lay the blame for this on me. Be a dear and start the kettle.” Looking up, you realize that there is a Sphinx eyeing you with a mixture of curiosity, indifference, annoyance, and hospitality. You see what may be wings shimmering from her shoulders like they are flitting into and out of existence and a dull glow in her eyes. As her mate appears, levitating a cup of hot tea to your hands, you realize they are expecting an introduction from you.

How to Use The Shattered Labyrinth in Game:

Do you need a way to have your players quest for lost knowledge? Maybe the world has gotten a bit too stale? The Shattered Labyrinth is both a gateway and an Oracle. It can provide a way to cross the world or even jump to other worlds and holds the mysteries of a lost Empire and the knowledge long  gone. Whenever you need a good exploratory challenge, one of the other entrances to the Labyrinth can be sought….

Lexicon

Autarchy  noun (1)

au·​tar·​chy | \ ˈȯ-ˌtär-kē  \

Definition of autarchy (Entry 1 of 2)

AUTARKY

Definition of autarchy (Entry 2 of 2)

: absolute sovereignty : AUTOCRACY

First Known Use of autarchy

Noun (1)

1617, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1665, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for autarchy

Noun (1)

by alteration

Noun (2)

Greek autarchia, from aut- + -archia -archy

Look-up Popularity

Top 7% of words

Closing remarks 

Zendead – Improv for Gamers 2nd Edition 

      Blade Runner RPG

Joules – Take a nap!  We’ve all been pushing ourselves so much to keep it together.  Take care of yourself and allow yourself to nap.  Recharge and Dream!

Guard-a-Manger – OMAC: One Man Army Corps. One of the last works Jack Kirby made for DC Comics, O.M.A.C. is a series set in a uniquely Kirby dystopian future where the Global Peace Agency recruits a young man to become their One Many Army Corps, or OMAC. A disturbing, brilliant, and utterly creative work that should fuel your own imagination for decades, especially as it was cut short in the original run but reverberates through comics and pop culture to this day. 

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

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Zendead 

Joules 

Guard-a-manger
And Thanks to Merriam-Webster  and Online Etymology Dictionary for our Lexicon segment

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