This Judge's Notes - Post GenCon

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This Judge's Notes - Post GenCon

Post by Cthulhuoid »


So, here I am a Judge after an awesome GenCon. What made it awesome? While I didn’t get to run any games, I had the immense privilege to play with some of the best Judges in the industry. Oh yeah. When you have the chance to do that as a Judge – it’s time to sit up straight and take some damn notes. I came back with a few, and will be utilizing these simple items, and tips right away in my games upcoming at next month.

Some of these may be common sense or part and parcel to some. Some of these I might have done before, but not to the extent I’ve seen – and I don’t care if this makes this old grognard look like a newb. I wanted to spread the word for the benefit of other gamers!

So to make this simple, here are some notes this Judge took:

1. Noteboard. Wow. A pocket sized unfolding hex board! Fold it out and bam. Here we go – this is where you are, here is where the caves you are looking for is, and how far. Wait a second – {wipe} roll for imitative. I bought one of these right away.

2. Attack Rolls. Me?? No. – YOU. Yes you – roll for the bugbear, he’s about to smash your friends. That’s right, nothing makes for player integration better and force the Arneson way of what the dice said like no BS dice flubs! Awesome!

3. Initiative Tracker. This is OSR. Messy magnetic tracker moving it all around, damn marker… No. How about a simple sheet of paper, and you make some marks to track the rounds. Lets not make this complicated. Who cares of the players see this?

4. Countdown Timer. Cheap $10 countdown clock timer – let’s make sure this one shot gets the story told. One thing that bothers me as a player over the years is… how the hell did it end? This passive silent reminder helps the judge keep the encounters flowing and when to decide to slow or speed it up.

5. Fisherman’s Friend. Not only do you wind up with a great pocket dice case, this is a tool I actually learned years ago and reimplemented recently to keep my voice – that and to drink just enough but not to much good Ph water.

6. Still Keep It Paper. Obviously pre-gens help, but having a printed spell/ability list that only matches your pregen is an amazing time saver. I know people swear by their tablets to do a quick search but, spring for the extra pdf copy – then print the pages for your players. Hi-light some things and bam – this module just sped up. This also helps for handouts, so you don’t have to jack up your books to make copies. Just don’t go giving your copies out, encourage them to buy the product! :D

7. Standing. I’ve been doing this for a while, but comfortable shoes to do it in help by a long shot. The more you stand, project and point = the more engaged your players will be, and the more engaged they are the longer they will play. The longer they play, the hobby grows to that extent.

8. Roll with it. A lot of players don’t realize that much of the time, they drive the game. If you stick sternly to the book and module as written, it will to the degree disengage the players if you ignore player character roleplaying to that extent. If Jim said I walk up and take the costermonger’s wife on the way to the keep – well, guess what. The module is going in a different direction, so roll with it. Just don’t let your players run amok, there is that other side of the coin… keep with the program, but in an encounter – what they say they do is what goes down, so have fun with it…. there is no going back now!

Again many thanks to the superb talent, preparation and time that went into delivering fantastic games – specifically: Michael Curtis, Harley Stroh, Edgar Johnson, Wayne Snyder, Adam Muszkiewicz, and Clovis Kell. Also, in spirit – Terry Olson who could not make it. You all rock!

Cthulhu Fhtagn,

Roy Snyder
“Judge Luukass the Madd”
Judge Roy Snyder
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Re: This Judge's Notes - Post GenCon

Post by fym66 »

Some I agree with, so I don't (you'll take my magnetic combat tracker from my cold dead hands!). But I like this. There should be a way to like a post!
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Re: This Judge's Notes - Post GenCon

Post by ThickSkullAdv »

Nice tips. Thanks for sharing.
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