Friday, October 16, 2015

Review: How to Game Master like a Fxxxing Boss

I try to keep it at least PG-13 around here.

Anyway, I picked up +Venger Satanis' latest book, How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss, not because I think I need help running my games (I have been running games for 35+ years now) but because I Was very, very curious about what he had to say.  Besides,  I am sure there had to be some tips worth reading.  In any case, I am certain it was going to be a fun read.
I also wanted to read this because I was curious about his "O5R" philosophy. I have been doing something similar in my games with my kids, and I wanted to see his views.

To begin VS talks about what Role-Playing and Game-Mastering is.  Ok, I expect this.  He made a point about how he used to run games to where he is now.
• Do I have all my stuff (books, notes, dice, etc.)?
• Do I have a general idea of what’s going to happen?
• Am I ready to crank this bitch up to 11?
I understand this.  I have a game I am running at a convention in 24 hours or so.  Right now the only thing I would add to that list is "Do I have my Pre-gens?"

The book itself is largely divided up into various short essays that talk about what to do in any broadly defined situation.  A lot of it is common sense, but there are few gems in there as well. I like the bits on handling NPCs and especially the NPC villains.  In truth, his "Seinfeld" advice was about the last thing I expected to read here but I enjoyed it.
Other treats include the "Who to Blame" random table. Most of the tables are pretty fun and many are very useful.  I loved the whole section of tables about Cults.
There is a section on the magical language he created for his games that add a nice bit of flavor, but I am wondering if would not have been better in The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence book.

It ends with three sample maps and an afterward.

While I certainly thought of this as a fun read I am not sure I got that much out of it.  Granted I also don't think I am the target audience.  I will certainly use the tables and his magical words are kind of neat.  I think what I really need to do is give this one to my son and have him read it.  He is a longtime player, but has only run a few games.  He certainly has anxiety about running (as well all did the first few times) and I know there are some things in here that would help him out.

I think I will certainly use his cult tables to see what I can come up with.

1 comment:

Venger Satanis said...

Thanks for the review, man. Ideally, one book should be useful to the others... tables, artwork, rules, story hooks, etc.