Burn Everything Gaming

RPGs and more


Making a Character You Want to Play

There are a lot of things to consider when you are building a new character. What is their personality going to be like? What background do you imagine for them? What role will they fill in the group? Which mechanics (skills, stunts, etc.) are they going to be high or low at? What unique powers do I want to pay for? How will the other players view this character?

Character design can be a lot of fun, and most systems spend a lot of time and money dedicated to this stage of roleplaying. Most people have an opinion or two on this subject, so I thought I would share my 2 bits on the subject.

Choosing a Concept

I like to start with a character concept, something that would be fun to play, and then see about making it fit, though I do not begrudge anyone that starts with one of the next 2 sections below.

The 2 main things to consider with concept are the setting and your own personal goals. The setting of a game is typically designed for a certain type of character: adventurers in D&D, samurai in L5R, semi-normal people in Cthulu. A large man with a crossbow is going to feel different in each of these 3 settings, and thus a setting will affect what sort of concept you want to build.

Personal goals are also important in choosing a concept. If you want to challenge yourself to play something new, choose a concept that you never play. If you just want to have reliable fun, choose a concept that you enjoy playing. Your creativity is only going to be limited by the next step.

Making it Fit

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How to Prepare Your Very First Tabletop RPG

One of the hardest places to start gaming is at the beginning. Our hobby is very intimidating from the outside, especially to people that really want to get in. There are so many systems, so many rules, and so much riding on that first adventure.

Today we are offering some advice for those of you that have never run a game before as a Game Master (or Dungeon Master or Beloved Master or Storyteller or Referee or whatever else you kids call it these days). We want to offer some practical advice, and a LOT of encouragement, to get you to try something new and include/make some great friends.

Please believe me, as someone who waited 10 years to finally cross the fence, the other side, that it is SO worth it. Tabletop RPGs are even more fun than they seem, and while not every minute of every campaign will be perfect the rewards far outweigh the fears. Hopefully the thoughts below can help you start gaming with your friends.

Why Write This Post?

I was recently looking at old YouTube blogs I had subscribed to, and in one of them the blogger said something that really hit home. She also thought that she and her friends would really enjoy getting into a tabletop rpg, but she had no idea where to begin. How could they get started?


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Recipe for Making Memorable NPCs

Making a world is a hard job for a GM to do, but it is certainly worth it! …if your players get invested in the world you make, that is. Bringing your world to life takes a lot of careful thought an planning, not to mention in-game-session delivery. And too many times a GM tries to do something interesting that the players ignore.

The role of a game master is as much an art as it is a science. There are many things to consider when making your game world interesting and consistent enough to be engaging. Most game books include sections to give you advice on how to make your world feel real. Today we’re going to focus on making NPCs.

NPCs are one of the best tools in a GM’s belt for engaging a player. When a PC and an NPC have a conversation, you and the player are already engaged. They want to hear what you have to say and are trying to understand it so that they can respond. Information is much more easily absorbed through human interaction, and RPGs are social by nature in the first place.

Memorable NPCs are a lot of fun to make and play. Some are hated antagonists, some are helpful allies, and most are just a small part of the world they live in. Today we are going to share with you a simple recipe for making some engaging NPCs

Start With an Empty Container

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Burn Everything Characters: The Tinkerer

Last time we talked a bit about supporting characters. Today we are going to look at a specific support character I have used in a number of genres: the tinkerer. I love this type of character that can make things that other people can use because of the versatility. A good tinkerer should have a trick for every occasion.

What Is a Tinkerer?

Now depending on your genre, the Tinkerer may be called a number of different things. In a medieval fantasy setting, this might be an artificer, enchanter, or even an alchemist. Modern day tinkerers would be mechanics, mad scientists, and Macgyvers. In a future science fiction setting, they may look more like an engineer, nanobot-mancer, or technopath.

The job of the tinkerer is to create something that other people can use. A wizard scribes a scroll or crafts a wand. An inventor creates a rocket pack or grappling hook. A lab tech engineers a cybernetic arm or temporary force field. People take their inventions and put them to good use, hopefully for the benefit of the rest of the party.

In Fate Core, these characters tend to have high Crafts and Resources, two skills that normally do not see a lot of use in games. Which, to be honest, is one of the reasons I love playing a character.

Making an Effective Tinkerer

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Difficulties with switching from GM mode to Player mode

One of my greatest struggles as a player is trying to make that mental transition out of GM mode. Oh its easy enough to tell myself that I am running a character and not a world, and it is a lot of fun building a character with skill points and stunts and such. But that is surface level transition. Players and GMs are different at their very core, and not making that complete transition results in a very sad game.

Rather than outline a debate about differences or list a pros and cons survey, I thought it would be more helpful (and fun) to go through the Fate Core character creation process and highlight important notes as they come up in the discussion. Note that I am going through the process in general, rather than actually making a character.

If you are a natural at making/running a player character, then reading this article will probably inspire internal dialogue along the lines of “I already knew that” and “Actually, I have more fun when I…” and so on. Believe it or not, this process does not come naturally to the rest of us.

And here we… go!

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