gm techniques – How do I run an adventure with the party in competition with an NPC party in a race for the MacGuffin?

I’m looking at the next leg of our campaign being a “race for the MacGuffin” scenario. The PCs (Rolemaster) have been chasing an evil sorceress for a while now. I want to let them catch up but put them in a position where they can’t actually kill her. She’s working for someone powerful who will come after them if they kill her. But it’s in a mercenary role so if they can get the MacGuffin for him he won’t care what happens to her after that.

The problem: I’ve never run or even read an adventure with competing adventuring parties. Can someone point me to some good resources?

I’m looking for published adventures (from any system), blog posts with adventure design ideas, direct advice from the folks here, and/or anything else that can help me figure out how to pit one party against another without having it be a straight up brawl.

gm techniques – How should i work with player that doesnt take it seriously at all?

Hello my Friends and fellow GM’s. I am a GM myself and I really need advice regarding one of my players.

I play with my Group a Campaign with FATE Rules in a Postapocalyptic Dark and Gritty Homebrew world which is mainly Horror based, written by a good friend and myself about 2 years ago. Which I also GM’d for another group. I give my group a lot off freedom what they do and how they handle the Stories since this is my main goal with telling the Story of the world itself.

I play with with 5 player (soon 6) while 3 off them take the world and the lore seriously, made beautiful characters and gift me with their own creativity and ideas for the whole plot, I have 2 Players that are pretty hard to handle.

One of them is completely passive when he is even present in a session and almost doesn’t listen to me as well. He only plays and brings himself into the Game when I especially talk to him and ask him what would be the best idea for the sake of the Group in the current Situation. It is pretty hard to handle this player cause I feel like i talk to a literal brick wall. But he is not the hardest thing.

One of the other players doesn’t take anything seriously at all, while I don’t mind one joke or too, since I myself make sometimes references as a GM for a little laugh to enlighten in some situations the gritty atmosphere, this player completely overdoes it.

He literally wants to hug and seduce literally everyone may it be Bandit, or Mercenary, Mutant or Zombie. Or even something bigger I made up. He brings the Group into a really dangerous situation and then runs away and let the other players handle a dangerous situation he himself made up. Asks me the whole time if he can befriend a Mighty Mutant I made up in the lore as one of the dangerous and most hostile thing in the whole lore, and even if a NPC said to him that this is one thing that is impossible, if not completely suicide.

I tried the last session to give him a little kick. I made up a really big treat, a lore heavy mutant that is for the group in their current situation impossible to handle or even to fight. The group saw this mutant and this one player approaches him directly, I gave him several warnings like “a long forgotten instinct that warns him from a mighty predator” and several NPCs that scream to him that he should run since he is literally killing himself.
He wanted to gave the mutant a handshake, and well I have to do what is more lore appropriate, the mutants head split like a lotus blossom and literally bites the player in the whole arm, infecting him with a dangerous Curse.

But well you guess it, even that he didn’t take seriously, not even gave any sort of “damn, I messed up” he played it out like it was nothing. And literally shrugs at me when I tried to tell him the danger of his actions.

The Groups meeting with this mutant was supposed to be a lore heavy and important for the later Story, and it got completely messed up.

I grow tired of this hot mess. Because I made this work and it gone like this, even if I asked multiple times “Can we please concentrate and take it more seriously”, this one player completely ignores it and I literally don’t know what I can do.

I thought to confront this player outside of session and ask him to take it more seriously ’cause I grow tired, but I also don’t want to loose my professionality, if you understand me.

I really thank you for your advice, ’cause I’m desperate and I don’t know anymore what to do.

GM techniques – How can I, as a GM, increase the speed and intensity of a text-based game?

In short, I've been using text-based TTRPGs via Roll20 and Discord for some time. I prefer them because they promote roleplaying and describing your characters' actions and not rollPlaying games that I was exposed to a lot during my time playing voice or IRL games.

However, text-based games can slow down significantly, especially in combat (but also in other areas), which will detract from my players' investments if some games are played in the background. So I want to ask how I can make my games faster and with higher player investments.

Things I've tried so far

Give each player a separate task to improve the situation.

  • The face talks to people and gathers information from bars.
  • The villain is exploring the area.
  • The soldier helps the farm levies with training so that they have basic discipline.

This has had mixed success as some players just don't enjoy being in the spotlight and things are a little difficult to follow.

Hurry up when the players get to a dead end.

  • If the players don't know what to do, they hear a creak.
  • After finding the criminals' hiding place, they come across criminals who intimidate someone.
  • The awakening of evil things makes the priest tingle.

It felt really groundbreaking.

Available media topics and techniques

Hello everybody! I recently had the opportunity to learn more about available media topics and techniques during my elementary school class. In particular, we’ve done a lot of research on Goggle AdWords, which is now known as Google Ads.

In my blogs, I talk more about how you can use Google Ads to create successful campaigns. A form of available media that is sure to bring you the results you crave. Check it out and let me know what you think! …

Available media topics and techniques

GM techniques – How can you integrate powerful allied heroes into a battle scene in masks?

I understand what a powerful allied hero should do in a fight to make fiction interesting (be powerful but not powerful enough to do everything yourself; be powerful but ignore parts of the situation, etc.). I have problems with how I incorporate these things into the game flow.

Let's take a closer look at an example:
The father of the legacy is a powerful and respected superhero. The great evil villain is the archenemy of the legacy family and is about to attack their stately home. The legacy, his team and their father are present to defend it.
I start to describe the scene. What the villain does, who their allies are and what they do and how the legacy father fights them. So far, so good. The father can be depicted here as a strong hero who is simply outnumbered due to the large number of allies of the villain. So the heroes have to help.
But during the play, I'm struggling to keep this narrative alive. I start with "What are you doing?" And the players describe their actions. You trigger some moves (Asses, Unleash, Engage …) and we play them out. They are either successful or they fail. In the latter, I make a GM train and let something bad happen. Then I go back to the question "What are you doing?"

My problem now is, I have a limited fiction agenda if the players are successful with their throws. The only time I can come up with something myself must be something bad. Sure, I can make the bad guy beat up the father of the legacy badly, and it feels like a good GM move. But if this is the only interaction the legacy father has throughout the encounter, he feels weak and useless.

tl; dr: How can I make the NPC hero feel strong while following the usual flow of "PCs trigger moves that are successful and do something cool or fail and the GM does something terrible"?

GM techniques – avoid static dungeons

With many published adventures from different systems and also with adventures that I created for my groups, I found that the dungeons feel static in them. You have 1 room with beasts chasing everyone who comes in by falling from above. Another room with wolves and a third with a lone goblin.

And almost regardless of what the players do, it is expected that none of the other dungeon residents will react to what's happening around them … or very few of them (the goblin in the above case).

Now I've been thinking a lot about how I could make the dungeon feel less static in this regard. But the sad part is that I have a performance problem with most systems.

If we take the example above as an example (it's from a Pathfinder adventure). When players sneak through the dungeon and then meet the beasts on the ceiling and fight with them … they make quite a noise, of course. If I let myself be attacked by the wolves and the goblin (they are allies with each other). The players are as good as dead as the encounter would turn from normal to impossible for them. At the same time, if I only let 1 wolf enter the fight … the wolf encounter will be too easy …

As I thought about it more and more, I found that it is quite … difficult to make a dungeon less static. Especially in systems with levels.

Now my question is: Are there commonly used methods or ways to make dungeons less static or to avoid the overall static?

Algorithm design pattern vs. Algorithm strategies vs. Algorithm design techniques vs. Algorithm design paradigms

I often encounter these terms that seem to have the same semantics and meaning. I'm almost sure they mean the same thing – the types of algorithms categorized based on their implementation strategy / paradigm.

I just wonder if I'm right and I understand it correctly, because again – in different books / courses these terms are found in the same context. I am very critical of the accuracy of the terms that I read.

Could you please confirm or reject my acceptance?