A good GM doesn’t always get to play on their home turf. What do you do when you are travelling to a player’s house or acting as an itinerant gamesmaster? Being a GM can be a work intensive prospect, and many times, when you run there is a finely choreographed layout of equipment, information, and tools in front of you. How do you pare down what you are taking somewhere else and what do you prioritize?
Game Book – At the very basic level, a core rule book for whatever system you are running is necessary. You may want to look something up and not let the players know, or take the book away from them. This is one of the areas where a hard copy is invaluable with tabs, flags, and marginalia for your reference, though many like to include it with the electronic equipment below.
Electronic References – In the era of PDF copies, you can carry a literal ton of books in one slim tablet. Use technology to your advantage by carrying many of your secondary sources in your tablet or laptop including less commonly referenced, but still useful, books and setting specific information.
GM Screen – Either to hide your dice rolls from your players or because GM Screens have a theoretically well designed set of reference charts, this tool is easily overlooked but always useful
Adventure Outline – Make it a separate point to have a document, electronic or tangible, that includes the adventure outline and short form NPC notes. If you can’t take your 3’ 3 ring binder of the campaign with you, make it so you can fake it.
The Notebook – However you are doing it, record things. What did you forget to take with you? What questions to answer before the next game? What did the PCs do or change you need to recall?
Bourbon – A bottle of nice but not too nice bourbon can help make the evening or afternoon go by quickly.
Dice – Often, your own dice are a comfort item themselves and a little piece of your own home you can take with you.
Zendead- Sadly not this week.
Joules- City of Ash
The city of ash. Once a stunning metropolis. The center of learning, culture and trade. It was the city that exemplified all that humanity could achieve. And now it stands as a monument to humanity’s sins of hubris and complacency. And as a warning.
For centuries, the city was governed wisely and fair. Prosperity and hope seemed to grow with each generation. The citizens knew neither want nor fear. The city rolled well on the dice of fortune when it came to governance, but all it takes is one leader who is not of the caliber of his forebearers to destroy what it took centuries to build.
Not much is known about the city’s final lord. All that is certain is that he abandoned the role of leader and protector and instead expected to be protected and catered to. Unfortunately his attendants and advisors enabled this behaviour. So when civil war threatened his city, he took it as a personal slight and vowed vengeance.
Using the vast resources of arcane and heretical knowledge that the city had amassed, he found a “solution.” If the citizens did not serve him, did not love him; then he would take away the citizen’s choice. The would serve him, love him, or die.
So the spells were cast, and the lives of the citizenry were bound to him. And out of fear, for a time, they served him. But he grew discontent with the lack of authenticity. Discontent turned to frustration and frustration turned to rage. So he gave the order that doomed the city. He ordered his army to enslave the citizenry and put to the sword and burn all who resisted.
The magical backlash was brutal. And total.
He had bound the lives of his people to him and by attacking them, he warped the magic, turning it back on himself. So the people burned and he burned.
And the city became ash.
The city still stand there. The vengeful soul of the last leader is forever bound to the city. And since the spirits of the citizenry are bound to him, they are forced to wander the city. Full of rage. Full of hate. For their leader that betrayed them. For their eternity of forced servitude. So be wary adventurer. The poor souls may turn their rage blindly toward you. But if luck is on your side, you may find a shade not yet consumed by hate. They may attempt to aid you. If you’re willing to try and grant them their freedom. End the reign of the last ruler. Free the citizens, so they can rest. And let the city of ash crumble and blow away.
The Cats’ Meow
It sits downtown, just outside the “good” part of the city. A club; an old club; a jazz club. This club harkens back to the days of jazz being played, improvised, and felt until the dawn hours. Shaded in blues, oranges, and the soft light of eternally dingy light bulbs, the Cats’ Meow is a beacon to people to seek that magical combination of structure and improvisation that is the hallmark of jazz. The club is always there and rarely raided as if there is a deal with the city to let the troublemakers and iconoclasts gather in one place keeping them out of everyone else’s hair.
The unusual and the artistic are drawn here, surrounded by the soulful and the experienced. The age of the place is obvious from every creak of the wooden steps but the energy belies any tiredness that comes from age. A patina of music, bourbon, laughter, and late nights is all thats left.
And that cat. The cat in the corner, wandering down from the upstairs apartment. The cat quietly sitting and watching the musicians play with a ferocity. The cat is a constant, or maybe it’s parents, as the murals on the wall from decade ago show the same feline presence. The same cat’s hungry and protective eyes. The same cat.
Rabid adjective ra·bid \ ˈra-bəd also ˈrā- \
Definition of rabid
1 a : extremely violent : furious
b : going to extreme lengths in expressing or pursuing a feeling, interest, or opinion rabid editorials a rabid supporter
2 : affected with rabies
Origin and Etymology of rabid
Latin rabidus mad, from rabere
First Known Use: 1594
Popularity: Bottom 40% of words
Zendead- Luke Cage on Netflix
Guard-a-Manger- Roald Dahl Omnibus
And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment
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