Tuesday, 10 November 2015

[Review] How To Game Master Like A Fucking Boss

Image from Geeknative.
"As you've probably noticed, I'm not abbreviating the title as you would expect. And I won't for the vast majority of our journey together. That's because it's a high office that deserves the utmost respect. In fact, I want you to temporarily wipe "GM" from your vocabulary. From now on, you're going to refer to the generic running and refereeing of roleplaying games as Game Master, Game Mastering, and Game Mastery. Don't minimize your vocation with a two-letter abbreviation.
Why? Because what we do requires a strong belief in ourself."
Before I even start the review, I strongly advice you to buy the printed book version. The pdf is nice, sure, but this would be so much better as a book. Why? Personal notes. +Venger Satanis tells you how to be the best, or how to pursue to be the best Game Master (!!) in the world (or as good as you can be), so you should make this book your own. Read it, read it again. Learn from it. Adapt it. Get new ideas. Grow as a Game Master. I received this pdf for free, because I asked for it - even before the Kickstarter was done! I will buy the book for sure. PDF is nice, too, because you can print handy stuff easily... to that, later.

When I started reading this book (pdf) I was a little sceptical. The title is arrogant, but provocative. I thought, that this is a book where Venger will tell how much he is better than everyone else and how he will tell you what to do to be a better Game Master. Part of that is true.

The book is written damn well. It sucked me in. Venger writes, like this was a journal. He is telling what he does. And why. As this started as personal notes for self he thought to share, the writing style makes sense. But it is well written. It's like Venger is actually telling you his tricks of Game Mastery.

There are  several dozen short chapters of different topics. These chapters are short, easy to read, and easy to digest. The topics revolve around Swords, Science, and Sorcery genre, but the main instructions are easy to adapt into any genre or gaming experience. Every chapter is indexed, so they are easy to find.

What is awesome, that there are examples and inspiration everywhere. As you continue to read, from examples you can literally get awesome campaign and adventure ideas on the go. Venger has this own dark fantasy world (links to his other products in the end, worth to check out) what lives through the text. Literally you could use this book to create a setting, after you filter all the example and idea bits.

But when you've read this once to get a grip of it and the second time to actually make notes, is it used and easily forgotten? Well, it depends how often you come back to a book. And how much you want to use Venger's tactics. I think you could check out some chapters every now and then, especially when your game is going to a direction discussed in this, but there is also more.

The rest of the book is full of random tables (this is where pdf is handy - to print them). Naturally, these random tools reflect Venger's fantasy world. There are things like random monster creator, cults, simple Call Of Cthulhu type sanity check, new take on reaction table, tables for player characters, and more. In the end there is a fantasy language, you can use. And some empty maps, too!

The layout is good, and this pdf was a pleasure to read on my mobile phone's 5,2" screen. I used ezPDF Reader which awesomely fitted text to columns, so scrolling was easy. No flaws on the pdf at all! In not the best, font was pleasant to read. The annoying background logo is on every page what I didn't like in the Liberation Of The Demon Slayer either, but that's a matter of taste. Illustration is great and follows the feel of other Kort'thalis publications. If you like cults, tentacle monsters, slaves, and bosoms, you'll like this!

Thank you Venger for this great book. As a Game Master, I appreciate this. And I will buy the print-on-demand version to highlight best parts of the text. And I will print the tables for use.

Ten points, and a laughing skull.
_______________________

Buy How To Game Master Like A Fucking Boss, available in print and pdf: RPGNow.

Also check out other products from Kort'thalis Publishing. They are awesome.