that rail game

GM/DM Tips: 32) Summary

Hello new followers, here’s what you’ve missed so far. 

1) Your role as the GM is to put challenges in front of the PCs so that they may be overcome and make them feel awesome. GM and players have a cooperative relationship, not an adversarial one. Make sure they know this.

2) Communicate the tone you are going for to your players so everyone has the same expectations. Dean Winchester and Scooby Doo would feel disrupted by each other if they went on the same mysteries.

3) If you’re not comfortable improvising as a GM there is no shame in admitting that to your players if they start to stray from the game you have prepared. There is a difference between rail roading and running a game on rails. “Hey players, my prep is over here and I think I can run a more enjoyable game for you if I don’t have to make it up as I go.”

4) Be a fan of your player characters, and treat them how the writer of a TV series would treat their leads. Tell the players you see their characters like this, so they behave like the protagonists.

5) Communicate to your players any etiquette expectations you have, if a player knew you felt disrespected every time they brought their phone out at the table then they probably wouldn’t do it.

6) Failure can be more interesting than just not being able to do something. “You cannot pick the door’s lock” can become “there is a big click - you opened it! Suddenly the door swings inwards, and a large chest is in your face! Someone used this door as you were trying to break in!” or “you twist your tools and break the lock - it’s now stuck in the locked position.” This means that whenever the dice get brought out, it’s going to be interesting - no matter the result.

7) During character creation, tell the PCs the first plot hook you will dangle so they can make a character with that in mind. Or if it’s too late, tailor make a plot hook for the group.

8) Respect the boundaries of what you control as the GM, it would be weird if a player started to control an NPC and it’s uncomfortable when a GM narrates what a PC is doing - even if it’s something of no consequence. Even on a failed roll it’s important to not make choices for the PC, even if bad stuff needs to happen because of the failure. (Mind control and absent players aside.)

9) Here I answered a very specific question from a follower about making fair challenges for only 2 PCs. A cool remark I think I made here was that a TPK can just be a TPKO, if you accidentally made something too hard have the PCs wake up in chains or having been rescued.

10)  A player’s PC is the mechanism through which they play the game, during character creation tell your players  “make sure your character is a character who wants to adventure, wants to hunt monsters, wants to solve the murder.” Because that’s the game.

11) A persuasion check isn’t something that rolls away an NPC’s autonomy. Instead make it more like an encounter, each successful persuasion check (like an attack) brings them slowly more and more onto your side.
(After a question about this post I should let it be known that I dissuade, and will never enforce, a persuasion check against another PC. The player decides what their PC’s views are on something and it is not up to the dice to roll that player agency away.)

12) If a player is meta gaming, it usually only takes you pointing it out and explaining how it is a form of cheating to get them to stop.

13) My golden rule, players don’t roll the dice until the GM tells them to.

14) [Tip Deleted]

15) [Another Summary]

16) Don’t let a player use their alignment as an excuse for making the game not fun for others. They’re descriptive not prescriptive. Put them on the spot and ask them what motivates their character. “I’m Chaotic Neutral” isn’t an answer, and forcing them to admit that their character is cruel (or whatever) often will make a player change their mind.

17) The players are free to choose, but they are not free from the consequences of that choice. Doing evil things in town can attract the ire and distrust of the people, maybe even the reaching hand of the law will come after them.

18) Not every NPC will fight to the death.

19) It’s good to introduce your villain to the players, rather than just having them meet each other for the first time at the campaign’s end. Not only should they be introduced, they should leave the scene in a position of strength - not fleeing with the tail between their legs.

19.5) Anecdotes of my own villain introductions.

20) It’s important to pay attention to the plot hooks that the players make for the DMs to bite. (Usually in their backstories.) You could incorporate these into your main plot, set it up as an encounter or side plot, or save it for later - maybe the next main plot?

21) Quick fire tips. 3-5 players is great. Make sure that a player isn’t missing out on how they want to resolve conflicts (maybe diplomacy, assassination) because the Sword character keeps charging in. Player’s are accountable for in character actions - especially when they take away fun, ‘in character’ is not an excuse.

22) If you don’t know something and consider looking it up, don’t. Just make a call, get it wrong, keep the tone and pace going strong. 

23) [Another Summary] 

24) Look for the opportunities to do the nicest thing as the DM, but hide it as the nastiest act. Throw them off the balcony instead of multiattacking them to death, drop the unconscious PC to multiattack another. 

25) Do a session zero to align everyone’s campaign expectations, almost all issues can be prevented by this step. 

26) Give your monsters backstories too, it brings them to life, they probably haven’t spent their existence waiting for the PCs to show up. 

27) Do your NPC voices and monster sounds. The point isn’t to be good at it, the point is to show your players that your table is a safe place where they can put themselves out there. 

28) If an evil character is disrupting the game, talk to them OOC - make them read that tip. If they’re reasonable they will stop, if they’re not reasonable then you probably should ask them to leave your game. 

29) Quick Tips. When running battles with lost of mooks, rolling each initiative separately makes the combat easier on PCs. Give drunk characters the ‘Poisoned’ condition. Create opportunities for a player to use their tool proficiencies. PC death doesn’t have to be enforced - RPGs should have consequences but they need not be death - you’re the DM, if it’s better for everyone’s fun just bring them back at a cost. 

30) Always tell a player when they have missed something that would be clear to their character. 

31) Don’t enforce social rolls against the PCs. A player has agency over their character, and a good persuasion check should never take that away from them. 

Penalty Game!

A/N: Omg I loooove Yachi rarepairs and I really couldn’t choose but in the end I am more drawn towards Kuroyachi because omfifui;g.iushig. Do I need to tell you why? Just look a them. So yes, here’s some Kuroyachi tickle fluff, I hope you like iiit!

Summary: Karasuno plays a game against Fukurodani, the deciding match in their tournament with Nekoma in which the winning team will decide the penalty for the losers. Yachi is dead nervous about this, and when he notices, Kuroo teases here with sweet tickles as they share a loving moment together. They have started dating a while back after all<3

Word Count: 1590

“Alright! Karasuno vs Fukurodani, 2nd set, go!” The whistle sounded through the gymnasium and Yachi just returned to her safe spot for the audience above the court, after providing the boys with drinks and towels during their short break. She clamped the railing and watching the game in excitement. The tension. The tension!

Karasuno had gotten together with their Tokyo Power School friends Nekoma and Fukurodani for a friendly tournament as a closure of this school year.

Before that, they had a three-day training camp leading up to this: the deciding tournament in which the winning team could subject the losing team to the so called Japanese Batsu Game, or also referred to as Penalty Game. This involved the managers too, so Yachi was dying from nervosity up here.

What if Karasuno would lose? They had already lost one set. She didn’t want to do anything embarrassing, and since it was Fukurodani and Nekoma, either one would probably come up with the most evil penalty game ever. An embarrassing dance? Maybe sing an embarrassing song? Nooo. Not that. Not in front of –

“Heh, nervous sweetie?” Yachi’s face immediately exploded upon hearing her boyfriend’s voice, and she looked up to see Kuroo joining her.

“Ah y-y-yes,” she squeaked, and her inner Yachi immediately scolded her for being this tense towards her boyfriend of three months. To her it was still unreal that she had started dating Nekoma’s captain, and with him living in Tokyo they couldn’t see each other that much.

Kuroo stood next to her and leaned over the railing, and Yachi blushed when she noticed he chose to stand with her rather than his teammates who were gathered down on the side of the court, still drinking and resting from their game while they glanced at Karasuno and Fukurodani’s match.

“Well, of course if we claim victory, we won’t go easy on you guys with the penalty game,” Kuroo sang, and he gulped when Yachi immediately looked as if she was dying.

“Just kidding just kidding! I mean -” Kuroo waved his hands in front of his flustered girlfriend, but she was already shaking because of the nerves.

“R-relax baby!” Kuroo placed both hands on her sides to stop her from her frantic shaking, but this caused her to jolt and squeak before she collapsed against him.

“Eh?” Kuroo blushed and squeezed her sides a little to help her keep her balance, but Yachi reacted even more and only when giggles poured from her mouth, Kuroo grinned. Ahhh…

“Oh! Ticklish? Hehe isn’t that fortunate?” he chuckled, and he squeezed her sides some more, making her squeal and struggle in his grip.

“N-no dooon’t!” Yachi kicked and struggled involuntarily. Tickling just did that to her body, but Kuroo didn’t seem to mind. She managed to turn in his hold and wrapped her arms around the railing, leaning over it as if she was ready to leap off in a desperate attempt to escape.

“What are you doing? You’ll fall!” Kuroo said, still in his playful teasy voice, and he grabbed her sides right where her shirt had moved up, and he pulled her back down again, wiggling his fingers ticklishly at the same time.

“KYAhaha! S-stop Kuroo-kun hehe!” Yachi squealed as her bare sides were being tickled now.

“Don’t move, it’ll be okay,” Kuroo told his thrashing girlfriend teasingly as if he wasn’t torturing her with tickles right now.

Down on the court, the Karasuno players looked up at their manager who was laughing her head off.

Not being able to see Kuroo’s hands that took control over her body by tickling her sides mercilessly, they cocked their heads in confusion. Asahi was just about to serve when he looked up as well.

“Yacchan, she’s laughing at us,” he mumbled.

“Probably despair,” Tsukishima commented dryly.

“I bet Kuroo’s telling her the horrible penalty they have planned for us,” Tanaka grunted, but Noya jumped up and yelled:

“As if we’re gonna lose!”

“That’s right! Don’t worry Yachi! We won’t lose!” Hinata yelled as well, and they continued the game and the noises of the game were back to exceeding Yachi’s pleas.

Yachi blushed like crazy and continued to laugh as she tried to jump away from her teasy boyfriend, but he gripped her sides and kept her in place. She gasped when his fingers wiggled towards her front, running across her tummy and slipping underneath her shirt.

“UWahah it t-ticklehehes! Stooohohop!” Yachi squeaked, but Kuroo only chuckled and continued his attack on her.

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