Monday, December 27, 2010

Game Master's Challenge

Businesses in Massachusetts seem to give people the week after Christmas off so we're holding our first GM's Challenge game this week. Three GM's will run an all-day adventure in three chapters. Each GM will manage one chapter and play in the other two. There are two components.

The first challenge is based on something I've wanted to do for a while. The players all look through the Monster Manual and pick out the most outrageous monster we can find. Then the GMs are assigned one of the choices randomly. The challenge is to not only have the monster appear, but have it play an integral role in the adventure. It's easy to make an adventure based on marauding Hill Giants, but can you reveal the unplumbed drama of the Water Weird? Or the badger? So far our band has picked the Ixitxachitl, Purple Worm, Rakshasa, Jackalwere, Roper, Night Hag, Lamia, Succubus, and Green Slime. We shall see who gets assigned what.

The second facet of the GM's Challenge is that it's a chain story. Each GM is assigned a story element which begins their adventure and one that ends it. The elements are deliberately vague and open to lots of interpretation. Phase one opens with "Prison Break" and ends with "Boarding a Ship." Phase two begins with "Attack From the Skies" and ends with "Royalty in Disguise." The last phase begins with "A Trap!" and ends with "Crowned by a King."

One unexpected element of the Challenge is that the GMs are going to have to be ready to deal with the preceding story's setting. Phase one may end at the docks of an island, in the center of a museum, or on a mountaintop! It's going to be fun to create a dungeon or adventure that can be seamlessly linked to a variety of physical settings!

The game is set for a few days from now and we shall see how it plays out. Also apparently it's a costume game. It's lucky I seem to have collected multiple D&D costumes. Lucky or tragic I suppose!

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