This is part 9 in a series:
- The Sticky GM (part 1)
- Locations (part 2)
- Personalities (part 3)
- Encounters (part 4)
- Stakes (part 5)
- Plots (part 6)
- What if… (part 7)
- Combat Order (part 8)
Who doesn’t like having magic weapons, cool alien tech, or simply a bigger flipping gun?
At least once, that I am admitting to, I have run an entire combat, the big final battle in a plot, and only in the final looting of the bodies did I realist that one of the antagonists had a magic items that would have been really useful, if only I had used it in the battle.
Remember you can download the Sticky GM as a series of simple cheat sheets when you subscribe by email.
If I now give it to the characters as loot, did they really earn it? When I set up the battle I took the item into account. It was part of the challenge to be overcome. Now they have won the battle but the item did not play a part.
The way around this is pull out those cool gadgets, magic items or über weapons andput them on their own note.
You have your sheet with the plot point at the top. Below that you have the key locations, then the encounters, and this key NPC. Directly beside the NPC is the note with Wand of Magic Missiles/Rocket Launcher/Antimatter Ray. It is no longer languishing on some inventory sheet. It is front and center.
Whoops! Dropped the Ball!
If this item is the McGuffin that is needed to slay the evil blobosaur, it needs to be found.
If the characters miss the clues, or don’t stick around to search for it, it is really easy to move the note to the next scene. They [notes] don’t have to be attached to people. If the McGuffin is in a chest but the characters don’t open it, peel off the note and attach it to the grandfather clock in the hall. Not found? peel it off and put it under the four poster bed.
Forgot to use it in the battle? Move it to the next villain.
Rewards that are earned are worth more than those freely given at no cost. By letting your special items and kit float over the top of the NPCs, locations and plot points, you can make sure they are in the right place at the right time, and hard-fought for.
Do not put all your magic items or alien tech on the same color post-it note! There will be eagle-eyed players out there that will see the flash of color on your notes and will immediately be aware that there is something special going on. Some players are really good at not meta gaming, but some just cannot help themselves.
I see the most significant items in a game as no different than a significant NPC. For that reason, I tend to use the same colored notes for both items and personalities.
Would you like these notes as a free simple cheat sheet? Add your sign up and you will get an email with your download link.