[New Release] Kobold Guide to Gamemastering

Kobold Guide to GM'ing

I am pleased to announce that my essay “Planning Your Campaign in Four Stages” is now available in the Kobold Guide to Gamemastering. In the essay, I introduce a spiderweb method to reduce the appearance of a linear plot.

Assigning a number of sessions and scenes to a campaign often traps you
in the idea that plots must be linear, and the scenes become points along
that line that always advance the story forward and in a specific direction. If or when players go off-script, GMs then compensate by creating other
towns or NPCs to lead the group back to the main story.

To reduce linear-campaign situations like these, reshape the plot to
accommodate for movement.

“Planning Your Campaign in Four Stages” is but one of the stellar essays available in the Kobold Guide to Game Mastering. I had a lot of fun geeking out about organizational methods, and I hope you enjoy my take on planning a campaign.

About Kobold Guide to Game Mastering

Every GM has struggled with some aspect of their game. Maybe it’s session prep or sustaining a long-term campaign. Perhaps it’s a more external issue such as problem players or limited play time. Many of these concerns, and others, will be addressed in the Kobold Guide to Gamemastering.

The latest in the award-winning and fan-favorite series from Kobold Press tackles gameplay head-on, with advice from everyone from veterans to talented newcomers on how to make a tabletop RPG session snap, crackle, and shine!

Edited by Sean Reynolds, the book’s writers include Frank Mentzer, Keith Baker, Zeb Cook, James Jacobs, Monica Valentinelli, Shanna Germain, and many other well-known industry vets and long-time GMs.

This 150 page, 6” x 9” softcover features cover art by Blizzard and Magic: the Gathering artist Eva Widermann and is part of the award-winning Kobold Guide series. So, if you know a new or long-time GM that could use some helpful, practical advice, or a few handy tips and tricks, this is the book for them.

This book is available in digital and print.

Announcing I’m a Guest Lecturer for Shared Worlds

Shared Worlds 2017

Hello! I am pleased to announce that I have accepted a position as a guest lecturer for Shared Worlds this July. I will be dropping in via Skype to answer the student’s questions about worldbuilding.

Shared Worlds is an annual summer program designed for teen writers interested in speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, etc.). The students work in groups with an experienced “world-building coordinator” to design and build a world. They also attend sessions on particular aspects of world-building with historians, scientists, authors and philosophers. Within a few days, the students have produced a world complete with its own life forms, languages, laws, and cultures. The students then write stories set in the worlds they have built. –SOURCE: SharedWorldsCamp.com

I can’t tell you what an honor it is to be invited to this. The camp has a stellar staff, including writers like Jeff VanderMeer and Will Hindmarch, and features a long list of really wonderful authors like Tobias Buckell, Ann VanderMeer, Sofia Samatar, N.K. Jemisin and many others.

The information to register for the Shared Worlds Camp is on the website, and I encourage you to check out the amazing works produced by these fine guest and staff instructors.

[New Release] Unknown Armies Books 1-3

Unknown Armies is an occult game about broken people conspiring to fix the world. I worked on all three books, and they are now available for you to download in PDF format. This game is utterly dark, weird, gut-wrenching, and very cool! If you don’t want to get all three, I’d start with the first one or check out the Unknown Armies Kickstarter page for more information.

Unknown Armies presents magick as it might exist in a world informed by crime fiction and secret histories, as twisting wrinkles in reality created by greater and greater risk, sacrifice, and obsession. As a player, you are confronted by the consequences of your character’s actions, and challenged by the implicit threat of a world shaped by the will of those who want something more than you do.

Unknown Armies Book One: Play is the book for players. It details:

  • Obsession and identity.
  • All of the rules for resolving actions.
  • The central shock gauge mechanic.
  • How to avoid fights, and how to deal with them when you’re dragged into them anyway.
  • The magick of adepts and avatars.
  • Gorgeous full-color art and layout.

Unknown Armies Book Two: Run is the book for gamemasters. It tells you how to:

  • Present the characters with obstacles to their fevered dreams of changing the world.
  • Oversee character creation and setting collaboration in the first session of play.
  • Draw on the rich and disturbingly familiar world of the occult underground.
  • Create new creatures and antagonists.
  • Resolve conflicts as a fan of the characters.
  • Prepare situations to disturb and entertain.

Unknown Armies Book Three: Reveal is the book of the weird for everyone. It contains:

  • Gamemaster characters, locations, creatures, and events.
  • Heresy and hearsay, alphabetized like a devil’s dictionary.
  • Ideas, hooks, tidbits, scraps, lies, truths, and horrors.
  • Lists, stats, and ephemera.
  • Even more weirdness.
  • Even more magick.

Created by Greg Stolze and John Tynes, Unknown Armies presents an entirely original yet disturbingly familiar approach to mystery, horror, and action in roleplaying games. If this is your jam, check it out!

[New Release] Doubting Souls is Now Available

Although the most acute judges of the witches and even the witches themselves, were convinced of the guilt of witchery, the guilt nevertheless was non-existent. It is thus with all guilt.

—Friedrich Nietzsche

Immigrants and tribes struggled to co-exist on the Eastern Seaboard in the ever-expanding Colonies. Violent clashes, supernatural beliefs, and demonic influences spelled disaster for Salem Village and its surrounding towns, while others fought werewolves and vampires on the frontier. With so much at risk, only god-fearing men and women were deemed innocent — and those were few indeed.

Travel back in time to the 1690s and experience what it was like to hunt the denizens of the supernatural during the Salem Witch Trials. In Doubting Souls, you will find a comprehensive setting overview, detailed locations, new compacts, a historical overview of which compacts and conspiracies were active at the time, story seeds, and a whole lot more.

Now, you can download Doubting Souls, which was created for Hunter: The Vigil, as a stand-alone chapter.

If you enjoy this era, be sure to pick up a copy of Tales of the Dark Eras for my story set during the same time period.

MANW Badges and my RedBubble Store

Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge Participant Badge

Today, I signed up for RedBubble and opened up a store. My artist’s account is mlvalentine, and you can check out the mlvalentine’s RedBubble store connected to my profile.

Throughout the year as my challenge continues, I’ll be adding more finished pieces that are worthy of you. The proceeds I earn from this site will go toward my art supplies.

MANW Participant Badges

I am pleased to share with you that one of the Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge participants, Meredith Gerber, has created badges you can use on your websites and social media accounts. She has also designed monthly themes, too. Go Meredith!

Here are the badges so far for the MANW 2017 Challenge! To save, you can right-click and download to your computer or you can click on the image to open it up in a new tab. They are free for your personal use. I added the information for Creative Commons at the bottom of the post, too. I hope you enjoy the badges!

If you’d like to link back to my challenge, you can either:

Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge Participant Badge

January MANW 2017 Badge

MANW February Badge

Creative Commons License
Make Art Not War 2017 by Monica Valentinelli and Meredith Gerber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.booksofm.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monica200.png.

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