'Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,' the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. 'Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.'

-Robert E. Howard
Beyond The Black River

Corrupt Cliffs

Corrupt Cliffs
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Showing posts with label DriveThru. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DriveThru. Show all posts

Friday, October 11, 2019

Things that made my game better!

If you have been following me for awhile you might have heard me say that I am pretty new to this gaming scene, or more accurately, newly returned. I played AD&D and Red Box D&D back in the 80s followed by Palladium games and finally wargames before I quite in my early 20s to pursue playing in the SCA. Fast forward approximately 20 years, and in my 40s I found myself picking up the torch again and delving back into the depths of the dungeon. Initially coming back to 15mm sci-fi and finally back into the RPG fold with the release of Modiphius's Conan 2d20 system.

Shortly before the release, I made the decision to stop thinking about running a game and I got some friends together and I started GMing a Conan Game. We ran that game monthly for about 2 years, wrapping up the 25th session last week and deciding to move on to John Carter of Mars

In those two years I started over as a new GM with little relevant experience and went forward. Not only have I GMed Conan for the home Group, but I have also GMed Conan at 3 conventions in the last year, with plans on doing another of these games at the end of the month. In addition to GMing I have tried given back to the community through my small youtube channel and blog, where I have numerous tutorials on basic terrain and playing Conan 2d20.

This article is aimed at that new GM that is nervous or unsure about jumping into the ring of running games. My advice is to do it. The only way to get better is to run games. Do not worry though, you aren't alone. The wealth of information out there for the new GM is mindboggling, which brings us to the reason I am writing this article. Who did I find useful? What tools did I find that elevated my game?


The easiest and least expensive place to find decent advice on running the game is Youtube, and the following list are my favorite channels for GM advice. There are a lot of good RPG channels out there, especially terrain channels, but for actual game advice, these guys have a lot of excellent content
  • RuneHammer - One of the best. Great videos on encounter design and basic ideas.
  • Matthew Colville - Another indosposable individual on the internet with a great series called, "Running the Game".
  • Dungeon Craft - Relatively new to Youtube, a gentleman with some exceptional ideas on streamlining and making your game better.
  • How to be a Great Game Master - Another series on how to GM well, with several companion series on How to be a Great Player.

I have also put out a little cash here and there and bought a few books from Drivethru to help me along.


  • Index Cards from RuneHammer - A series of black and white cards that can be used for locations or inspiration.
  • Okum Arts - A wonderful set of printable heros and villians for almost any setting.
  • Printable Heroes - IMHO, one of the best paper-mini collections of D&D/Fantasy monsters
  • Black Scroll Games - one of the best collections of tiles both virtual and real.

Other Things

  • Community - Both virtual and real. People to bounce ideas off of, and get feed back from. Online groups can be excessivley toxis at times, so take your time to lurk and see if the group is correct for you.
  • Give Back - Write some articles, make some content. Put your ideas out there and take the feedback you get and make yourself and your ideas better.
  • Try again - If you feel you failed. Try again. Talk to your group. See what they might like and don't like about your games.
  • Play - Find some games to play in. Don't just GM. Take what you like from games you play in and make it yours.

If you liked this article then don't forget to subscribe to get the next exciting installment on pulp gaming both Sci-Fi and Fantasy! If you have questions or comments don't forget to hit me up on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube or Instagram! Make sure you don't miss a single post and subscribe by e-mail today! If you need to check out any of these great games stop on by DriveThruRPG and pick something up through my affiliate link to help support the blog! (the drivethrurpg.com links in this post are all affiliate links, thank you for your support!) Till next time, don't forget to Keep it Weird!