Wargame Vault
Browse Categories







Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
You must be logged in to rate this
Forests
by Paul S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/18/2019 10:15:32

lots of great flavor to add when you're describing a forest! im often at a loss to properly describe what my players are looking at and resources like this to keep in my dm binder are the perfect aid to jumpstart my imagination in coming up with a detailed description to bring the world alive



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Forests
Click to show product description

Add to Wargame Vault Order

The No-Prep Gamemaster
by Mark B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2019 07:30:41

I love GMing RPGs but it's rare that I have enough time to sit down, read, absorb, and prep a module. And while I have some ideas for campaigns or adventures, pre-written modules are my go to since they involve less prep and everything is laid out. But lately I've been trying to look at some lighter rules systems and ideas on running RPGs with less prep. This book was an immense help. In fact, after reading through it, I gave it a shot: ran a one-shot, ZERO PREP rules light RPG at our game store's game day. We came up with a setting and using a bunch of tips in this book, I wove together and adventure that the folks at the table really enjoyed!

The author begins by sharing his own GMing experience, then moves into suggestions on how to fill your mind with story ideas, and finishes with advice on using random tables to get ideas and turn them into plots and stories on the fly. It's simple, but really good stuff. The best part is, a key theme is "Why does the GM have to do all the work?" By carefully listening to your players, they'll help you write the story as the adventures unfold. It's so obvious and yet clever.

If you'd like to venture into trying to run a game but you have no time, give this book a look and I think you'll find a ton of useful tidbits to make it happen!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The No-Prep Gamemaster
Click to show product description

Add to Wargame Vault Order

The No-Prep Gamemaster
by Rachel B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2019 12:15:17

This book gives you permission to not plan a huge campaign, but rather to work with your players to create something enjoyable. It's an alternate way to play the GM, a way to take the stress off a position that a lot of people don't want to do because of that stress. It's short but full of good ideas. Well worth the price.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The No-Prep Gamemaster
by Jim B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/06/2019 08:00:50

My problem with this guide is that it's a one-sided presentation that repeatedly discusses the evils of GM prep and the joys of zero prep while glossing over the potential pitfalls of zero prep and how to avoid them. Besides, it's still asking you to do some prep.

Consider this core statement: "Random tables eliminate the need for session prep." They don't. For one thing, you need to come up with the tables in the first place. That's prep time even if you go looking for published tables, and if you spend any time reading them or thinking about them before you play. Also, do you know the Birthday Problem? It calculates the probability that no two people in a group have the same birthday. Do the math and it turns out that in a group of 23 or more people, two people sharing a birthday is more likely than no two people sharing a birthday. And birthdays are essentially a d365 table.

In a d100 table, which they seem to favor over at dicegeeks, that crossover point happens at the 12th roll. That is, by the time you've rolled 12 times against a d100 table, repetition of a previous roll is more likely than not. Ask yourself how often you'd roll on a given table. Multiple times per room that the PCs enter? Once per encounter? Once every 15 minutes of session time? Then figure out how long it'll take you to reach that 12th roll. That's when repetition gets likely. "You find another telescope" (or whatever you're rolling up randomly) gets less interesting with every repetition. Your fifth telescope doesn't mean you're having five times as much fun. If you can live with the repettion your d100 table would give you, great. If not, you've got a problem.

What's the fix to avoid repetition? "Roll again" isn't a good approach because you'll do it more and more as you use up a table. This wastes session time and can kill the flow of play. "Uh, hang on, we've done telescopes already. [Roll] And rusty swords. [Roll] Have we done sundials?" The fix is not to use the same table(s) over and over and over. Instead, use tables that reflect the different locales and environments in your setting. How do you do that? Prep time. Maybe you can find a variety of tables in books and online sources, or maybe you'll make up your own, but that's still prep time. It's not wasted time if it helps you and your players have fun, but it's still prep time.

The guide claims that if you prepare something the players never encounter, you've wasted your time. That doesn't have to be the case. Sure, it's a waste to roll up detailed room contents for a zillion rooms when the PCs will hit only an unpredictable fraction of them. I'd consider it a waste even if they visited every room, because "there are cobwebs, a table, and three wooden chairs" gets old pretty fast. Instead, focus on your process instead of making an unthinking series of dice rolls. If you have 10 minutes to prepare, roll up three things, and ponder how they might be related. Suppose you get a rusty sword, a goblin, and a rickety bridge across a chasm. What's special about this rusty sword? Why is it here instead of elsewhere? Is it lying around loose or is it hidden away? What's the goblin's interest in it? Why is the bridge here? What's on either side? Why is it rickety? What does the bridge have to do with the sword? You don't have to force your answers on the PCs, who might come up with their own ideas you can run with, but you've still done a useful warm-up exercise. You've primed yourself for improvising during the session.

The "zero" prep method in this guide isn't zero prep. It tells you to gather ideas, watch movies and TV shows, read books, listen to audiobooks, get familiar with story structure, search online for maps and pictures and whatnot, find a selection of random tables, and set up a laptop for use during play. That's all prep time, not zero prep.

"Use Combat to Stall" is potentially a bad idea. A combat should be exciting and interesting and relevant, not a time burner to cover up for a lack of preparation. Start the session 10 minutes later if you need a little prep time, instead of wasting an hour on a combat that serves no other purpose. Besides, if you're busy managing a combat, it'll be harder to come up with ideas. What happens when the players catch you off guard during play? Instead of deliberately stalling, use something from those extra 10 minutes you took, or make the players part of the solution instead of treating them like someone to be distracted while you come up with the answer. You can say, "You got me, so let's make something up."

There are three reasons to avoid or minimize prep time: 1) You just plain don't have the time. 2) You don't enjoy it. 3) It's not helping you during play. Instead of trying to eliminate prep time entirely, try to focus on the fun parts of session prep, and use it as preparation to improvise instead of just cranking out unnecessary detail. Focus on a few critical things that can help you during play (quality over quantity). A little time spent on good prep is much better than wasting session time with rerolling until you're happy or deliberate stalling. If you really want to avoid prep time altogether, use a GMless system, or let someone else be the GM. Otherwise, even a heavily improvised session involves preparing to improvise.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Sci-Fi Facility Generator
by Chris K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2019 23:28:42

great resource easy to use simple and fun for any sci fi



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sci-Fi Facility Generator
Click to show product description

Add to Wargame Vault Order

The Book of Random Tables: Quests
by Jim B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/26/2019 00:11:24

It's a collection of ten d100 tables for generating adventure seeds in a fantasy setting. It's system-neutral, without a stat block in sight.

Each table roll provides you with a situation the PCs hear about or witness. The detail is minimal, just one sentence or a few for each entry. The entries describe only what the PCs first learn, such as finding out that the spice ships are overdue or that the prince has been kidnapped. Your players will quickly come up with questions that the seeds don't answer.

An improv-heavy, build-as-we-go sandbox campaign could use these as encounter tables. The PCs wander into a new town, for example, so you roll on the Town Quests table, find out there's been a string of burglaries, and you wing it from there.

You could use these as seeds to inspire adventures you prepare, if you prefer to come up with backstories, factions, locations, maps, and so on ahead of time. Or you could adapt the entries as introductions to adventures you've already prepared.

The entries are generic enough to let you modify them easily for an existing settings. If an entry mentions wicked mermen, you could use wicked mermen like it says or you could decide they're wicked pirates or something else instead.

Most or all of the entries could seed a single session's activities. Many of them could be the introductions to larger campaign arcs. For example, finding out that an ogre has taken over a town could be a single session to dislodge the ogre, or a few sessions for a more involved adventure. It could be the introduction to a campaign arc in which larger forces are involved. It's up to you to build on that seed of finding out that an ogre has taken over a town.

Comments on particular tables follow.

The Dungeon Hooks table is mostly about the rumor or event that leads you to the dungeon, with little or no info about what's in the dungeon.

The Royal Quests table consists of tasks assigned by a royal or situations relating to a royal.

The tables for Forest Quests, Town Quests, and Sea Quests give you seeds in those settings. An NPC might request help for a specific task, or an incident might occur in front of the PCs, or there's a general issue the PCs might involve themselves in.

The Doorways to Another World table is about ways the PCs find themselves transported elsewhere, sometimes voluntarily but usually not. There's a fantastical element in each case. The seeds are mostly about how the PCs reach the other world, and only sometimes what's in the other world or what it takes to come back.

The Questing Beasts table briefly describes some creature with an evocative name, such as the Great Bat of Elarond. The entries hint at some aspect that makes the creature different ("the size of a wagon" or "appears once a generation"). There are no stats and generally no powers. Some entries hint at why the creature might be valuable to someone.

The Quest Objects table is the same, except it's about objects. Each entry offers an evocative name and a brief hint about why anyone would be interested in the object, such as cultural or symbolic significance, monetary value, or a possible power. These could be MacGuffins that must be found and returned, magic items the PCs would want to possess, or artifacts someone needs to achieve a great purpose.

The Lost Cities table gives the same treatment to exotic cities ("Erith: The City of Diamonds"), including brief descriptions of what makes each city distinctive. Like the other tables, it's up to you build on the seeds.

I'm not sure what makes the Meta-Quests table "meta" but every entry is of the form: Get N things. It's up to you to figure out who'd want 80 ivory buttons or 50 orc thumbs, why they'd want them, and who'd want to stop you. All this table tells you is that the quest is to retrieve N things of one sort or another.

The seeds in these tables are generally pretty good for presenting a situation. The main reason someone might be disappointed with these tables is the lack of detail. For example, if you want a detailed backstory and a list of powers for the Iron Ring of Orailus, you'll be disappointed. If you just want the inspiration of knowing that it belonged to a harsh king from 1000 years ago, you're in luck.

I have only one quibble. The product description says "Cut down your GM prep with 1000 quest options." To me, that's misleading, implying that a series of table rolls (quest options) would help you build up a quest: NPCs, their goals and methods, factions, locations, challenges, clues, etc. That's not what this is. Consider an entry that says "Some sort of sea monster is disrupting the trade lanes. Nearly all the merchants have agreed to offer a fantastic reward to any who will slay the vile beast from the depths." Unless you're going to wing the whole thing on the spot, now you need to figure out what your sea monster is, where its lair is, how it came to be here, what defeats it, why it hasn't been defeated already, who the competition is, why only "nearly" all the merchants want help instead of all of them, and so on. A single table roll saved you the time of coming up with the idea, but there's still plenty of potential prep work remaining. You get 1000 seeds. They're good seeds, but they're only seeds.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Book of Random Tables: Quests
Click to show product description

Add to Wargame Vault Order

The Book of Random Tables 2
by Alan G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/24/2019 16:51:47

Good tables but the file itself is MASSIVE due to the fancy border art and takes up a lot of valuable space on my tablet. Any chance of a lower-resolution version?



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Book of Random Tables 2
Click to show product description

Add to Wargame Vault Order

The Book of Random Tables: Quests
by Frank D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/24/2019 13:28:37

I've told my current group of players (mostly new to role playing) that they will never get bored. With the wealth of online material available for a DM it's an exciting time to be playing. Well, just skimming through this book makes that point abundently clear. Just scaning the lists I've gotten so many ideas I wish I could run multiple parties. And don't get me wrong, I have bought and downloaded many lists but because this one focuses on quests ideas it's a goldmine.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Book of Random Tables: Quests
Click to show product description

Add to Wargame Vault Order

Fantasy Towns
by Chris V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/19/2019 13:20:15

I'm a huge fan of all the DiceGeek resource books and I think this one is a great addition to the collection. The maps are great, there is tons information for each city (population, points of interest, imports/exports). The full descriptions can be used as is, or you can use pieces of them to flesh out an existing city in your campaign. Lots of good adventure hooks as well.

Contrary to other reviews, the auther very clearly indicates that he used the Watabou tool to generate the maps.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Towns
Click to show product description

Add to Wargame Vault Order

10 Dungeon Maps with Seed Ideas
by Mike I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/04/2019 12:16:19

Good quality with good hooks. Many supplements like this are selling for $10.00. I picked these up for free but they are certainly worth $1.99. Once I get a group back together, I will plan to run some of these.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
10 Dungeon Maps with Seed Ideas
Click to show product description

Add to Wargame Vault Order

Medicinal Herbs – 1D100
by Wraith M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/27/2019 18:02:46

Well, you get what you (are minimally required to) pay for. It's literally a list of the names of 100 herb-type plants, with no means of segregating out which ones grow in which environments, any suggestion of what they could be used for, or even what they ARE. If you want that, do your own research... at which point, you're doing all the work this random chart was supposed to help you avoid.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Medicinal Herbs – 1D100
Click to show product description

Add to Wargame Vault Order

36 Dramatic Situations
by Maury B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2018 13:52:37

These dramatic situations are all violent and include things like rape, sexual assault, and kidnapping. They assume the woman is the one needing rescuing or has betrayed a man. They are very "old school" and do not reflect diversity or inclusion.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
36 Dramatic Situations
Click to show product description

Add to Wargame Vault Order

Terrain Guide: How to Use Wetlands, Forests, and Mountains in Fantasy Role-Playing Games
by James J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/19/2018 01:24:18

I liked this book for two reasons. First of all, if you think you know the various types of wetlands/forests/etc., this book might have one you have not heard of or thought of before. Second, I liked this book as a worldbuilder and gamemaster, because it offered quests and random encounter ideas for each type of terrain. I did wish it offered more random encounters and quests, with perhaps some quest tables for dice rolls. It was worth the small price of $3.99 on sale though.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Terrain Guide: How to Use Wetlands, Forests, and Mountains  in Fantasy Role-Playing Games
Click to show product description

Add to Wargame Vault Order

The Book of Random Tables
by John W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/05/2018 14:13:28

This is great for "instant flavor" or, as I saw in a YouTube video, even as a plot starter. "You find a room with X, Y, and Z in it..." -- it provokes the curiosity. A very handy collection of useful tables.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Book of Random Tables
Click to show product description

Add to Wargame Vault Order

Mountains
by John W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/05/2018 14:10:58

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but after reading through it, I feel like I could have gotten much of this information from National Geographic or web searches. I'm trying to think back at the time I purchased it v. when I tried to use it as a resource -- perhaps I was looking for more suggestions of settlements and full-page scenes.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mountains
Click to show product description

Add to Wargame Vault Order

Displaying 1 to 15 (of 80 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  6  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates