Nathan Schulz

Born and raised in California, Nathan has been a fiend for geeky pop culture for years. ESPECIALLY comic books and movies. Can't get enough. He also likes writing his own comic books (The Shrouded City) and drinking sparkling water. Maybe it shows we've grown as a society that nobody makes fun of him for making comic books... but he does get a lot of s**t for drinking sparkling water. Win some, lose some. If you feel like it, you can follow his twitter musings: @natethegreater

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Let me tell you about my first foray into being a Game Master for a pen and paper RPG! Gather around, cuz I’m telling the story fast and breathless!

First we were all like dealing with a vampire with an umbrella:

2011-04-20-Extra-Evil-Umbrella

And he had an Oni henchman!

oni

And the heroes (Agent Aaron and his girlfriend Amy) had to go to a Warehouse:

warehouse

To find a vulture brooch:

vulture

And a magic owl:

baby-owl

Oops!  I meant magic “Awl”:

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But suddenly there was another vampire!:

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And then Aaron beat the Oni and took his weapon:

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And beat up some bad guys, and Amy was a sneaky former shapeshifter and everybody had fun and I ruled as Game Master.

success

*gulps in air*

Yeah, its kinda like that all the time.

This is what it feels like to try and run an RPG game.
This is what it feels like to try and run an RPG game.

In all honesty, being a GM was a lot of fun.  But the thing I found out is that I am really, really bad at the math part of it.  Rolling the dice.  Knowing which numbers and stats I’m rolling against or for or both(?).  Its dizzying at times.  Aaron must be hearing “Wait, I’m rolling what against the WHAT?” in his nightmares now.  But bless his blond, math oriented head, he never slapped me in the face and make me eat the dice.

This rodent represents my strengths as a GM. (Its totally applicable).
This rodent represents my strengths as a GM. (Its totally applicable).

My strengths would probably be in improvising and character creation.  I really know how to make a character the players can fully hate.  Sometimes I’m so good at it, they say “I f**king hate you, Nathan!” and this is because they’re so lost in the moment of the character that they feel like they hate me.  I mean, sure its odd that they were constantly calling my characters names and cussing them out and renaming all my characters after me…

*stares off into space with a haunted look in his eyes*

Their… their rage is a testament to my strengths.  It has to be…

I highly recommend being a GM for anyone that likes writing.  Its a catch all for improv, dialogue, character creation and motivation, pacing, action description, and fan fiction.  The forethought for an RPG session is easily in the same level as most short stories.  I would even go so far as to say most novels.  And the type of story and structure you decide upon can add different elements.

For our first session, I titled the “Case File” as False Start.  I’m envisioning it as Part One of a possible three or four part short story series.  All of this is like putting on a play where only a skeleton of a script has been made, the actors can change the entire outcome of  the story, and a roll of the dice can decide if someone will straight up die.

I am fully addicted.

Side Nate Tangent:  Next week I won’t be writing about the following RPG session (which is titled Hang Man’s Tree FYI) Keep an eye out for a side article where I write a synopsis of the sessions as they roll along.  What will happen?  Will our heroes win?  Will they lose?  Only the dice will decide! (Or me, if I’m in a particularly crappy mood).

 

Comments

  1. What would make a BAD D & D participant? The only thing I could think of would be to god mode yourself but i’m not sure that’s possible so long as you abide by the GM, I’ve never played D & D so I don’t know. I’m not a very bright person, do you think this would affect my D&D experience?

    1. A bad participant would be someone who doesn’t listen to what’s going on. If you go in with a really rigid and unbending agenda to make yourself the awesomest awesome dude to ever awesome, then you’re not working with the story and you’re trying to hijack it.

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