I’m running everything at the table out of a 1″ binder with pockets. Here’s what’s inside:
- Adventure Hour!
- Maze Rats
- 20-some index cards
- Tiny 2d6 in a bag
- Adventure World one page rules and character packages (we’ve been marking off character packages so every character is unique).
- Bastionland name list (alphabetical and by failed career)
- Dungeon World GM screen printout (just for principles, and GM, player, and threat moves)
On the three rings
- d366 movies I’ve seen and adore to draw character, scene, and setting inspiration from (everything is here, after all). One of the more unique “I’m stuck” tools.
- Printout of all Electric Bastionland spark tables
- Patrick Stuart’s Making an Encounter essay from Silent Titans
- A few adventures of mine (High Garden, AVON, “Dragon Island”, The Overland, Chapel of False Gold, Undergrund, Prison Heist, Old Ben Clocktower, Prison of the Worm Queen, Buried Racetrack, Bit-Bot Fair, Madame Karenia’s, Museum of Impossibilities, Time Blister, Moth Hall,
- d6 tables: Bastion encounters, passing people, mercenaries, specialists, socializing opportunities, shopkeepers, street vendors, people rumors, treasure rumors, patrons, strangers, councils, faiths, clubs, origins and roles, debt complications, weapons of each type
- One page of Dark Heart of the Dreamer: the “Is that old job still available” table.
- Misc Magical Industrial Revolution tables
- d100 Oddities
- Blank hole punched paper
- Kismet’s Fantasy Name Compendium
- Perilous Wilds (Dungeon World supplement)
- Character sheets on index cards.
- Session notes. Each session gets one notecard to bullet list everything important that happened.
Electric Bastionland leveraging Adventure World rules. It’s the best setting (here’s why) with an evolving ruleset. Dice aren’t rolled that often and three strikes you’re out (which is the same for items).
You have a debt of 10k coins, go adventure.
Hirelings are fun. Have everyone (unless they’re really new) start with two characters, especially when it only takes one roll of 2d6 and a name to create one. Have a “main character” and a “follower” for each person.
Have the debtholder be a public bystander during adventures. A fun opportunity to have them be a victim of the player’s recklessness (and therefore owe more) or a damsel in distress (and possibly reduce what they owe or at least be looked at more favorably).
Tell, don’t show. If more information is better, than don’t hide it behind vague clues, or worse, your acting. Tell players “this character you’re talking to is hiding something” or “he’s clearly embarrassed that you know more than him and will look for an opportunity soon to get back at you” or “she wants more gold than that but doesn’t want to seem greedy.” Now you have more information problems to solve.
With newer players and multiple characters (because you’re following the hireling advice), leverage third person narration. I would say 80% of people aren’t comfortable with just straight-up acting in the first person. Like “tell, don’t show” this also promotes more information flow.
Making references to real-world celebrities, songs, movies, and more in a fantasy-ish game is a cheap trick and very effective at the table. It’s one way to show you’re having fun. 🙂