The good news: I upgraded my computer. The bad news: conflicts up the wazoo. Can't print. Can't save to floppies. Can't read the CD drive. Won't recognize the mouse. Which is odd, seeing as how the computer did this before I spent the money on the new board, chip, and memory. All I want to do is play Marathon 2: Durandal! Geez.
But with the downed computer, this means that my folder with the ideas for future Shadowrants and even near-completed columns are on that hard drive. And there's no way to get that off of there. So this week's column is going to be a short one.
I was going to write a bit about GMing a large group, or a screed on how important foreshadowing is, or how the Sixth World would go on with or without the runner's involvement. But what do I have saved here on my hard drive?
Signs you are an Evil GM [too many listed to fit into a top ten list]:
- You keep bringing a copy of Bug City to the gaming table, even though
the runners aren't anywhere near Chicago.
- It seems as if APDS ammo is hard to come by, unless you're an NPC.
- You have one of your runner's closest contacts/buddys join the Universal
- The character with a legal SIN is declared dead by a computer glitch.
- You start to use phrases like "It appears to be..."
- You bring an ample supply of fudge for the dice to the gaming table.
- And a liberal amount of salt for the wounds.
- This phrase sounds familiar: "Roll a perception test, target number
really high." [glance at results] "You don't notice anything."
- As does this one: "Which hand WERE you using to open that door?"
- And this one: "Whose (name vehicle or piece of equipment) is that again?"
- And this: "I need to know exactly were everyone is standing."
- And: "They had held actions."
- Or: "Roll initiative -- Anyone go before fifty-seven?"
- Not to forget: "What's your willpower again?"
- You listen in to the player's planning to get ideas to throw against them.
- Oftentimes, you roll 36d6 behind GM screen for no reason. Chuckle.
- Your players must be revived with smelling salts every time you
- You grab Awakenings. Grin. Put it away. Grab VR2. Grin wider. Put that one
away. Sit back down and roll some dice. Repeat process with a few books.
- Your adventures consist of just a crumpled piece of paper from work, with only three words, and a name on it. No dice. No books.
- You find out what means most to the PC's and corrupt, screw over, or otherwise
take it away.
- The adventure sends them through a portal to Earthdawn -- naked.
- To complete the mission, they have to work WITH the bugs for a "greater good."
- Your favorite NPCs are Kyle Morgan and Perianwyr, and they like to stalk the PCs.
- You have their government contacts offer them some "free" cyberware.
- A fun time is lopping off the ork deckers arm ... [at least] three times.
- NPCs kidnap the PC's kids.
- Their relatives get hooked on BTL's.
- The adventure sends the mage into orbit.
- They get attacked by a Force 30 Wasp Queen.
- For some reason, the pizza guy, or baby sitter is the toughest runner they ever met.
- Two words -- Ritual Sending.
- Or give them a glimpse of the big picture and let them see their itty-bitty
corner of it.
(These pearls come from Loki, Shaun Sides, Tinner, Dvixen, Bull, myself, and many other Evil GMs and Evil GM Apprentices.)