This book is a master course in GMing: it'll take a GM of any level of experience - or none at all - and get them running the greatest table-top role-playing games they are capable of running. For ten years, I - The Angry GM - have been dispensing literally the best table-top role-playing game mastering advice ever offered by anyone through my website, TheAngryGM.com. And now, I'm condensing all of my best advice into a book so you can read it while pooping without the risk of dropping $1,000 worth of electronics in the toilet. If you've never played an RPG before, it will tell you how to get started. If you're ready to run your first RPG session as a GM, it'll tell you how to get behind the screen. And if you've been running games for a while, it'll tell you how to actually get good at it. In addition, although the FDA has told us we're not allowed to say this book will cure any chronic diseases, clear up acne, or improve your "bedroom" performance, there is technically no evidence that it WON'T do any of those things.
But Seriously, What's This Book About?
If there was a college course about running table-top role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder, this book would be the textbook. Assuming the professor was a little lax in their textbook-selection standards. Because this book does not f$&% around. It doesn't give you any touchy-feelie, hippie-dippie advice about "making players happy" and "always saying yes, and..." or anything like that. It's like being punched in the gut by actual, practical, useful advice like "how to actually narrate a scene" and "how to know when to use dice" and "when it's time to tell your players to stop screwing around and get serious because its taking way too long to get through this combat." If you want real, useful GMing advice delivered by someone who could have played the gruff drill sergeant who actually turns out to care about you in any one of those military coming-of-age movies, this is the book for you.
And, look, when I say it's like a textbook for a college course, I don't mean it's dull and hard to read and overpriced like literally any rule-book from any role-playing game ever published. I mean, it starts at the basic level and then works its way up. If you don't have a clue how role-playing games work, it'll get you started. If you've seen a few games played and want to get your friends together and run your own game, it'll help you do that. After that, it drops into a 200-level advanced course and tells you how to go from amateur to expert.
This book is great for anyone who wants to run great games. Even people who have never run games. That's why every single gamer should buy two copies. One for them - and yes, we mean you - one for you and one for the kid brother or niece or the weird school or office friend who wants to know how to get into gaming, but who you don't have the time or the wherewithal to run a game for.
Who is The Angry GM? Why is he Worth Listening To?
The Angry GM is me. I got started running Dungeons & Dragons and other role-playing games when I was ten-years old and, thirty years later, I'm still doing it. And ten years ago, I started a website based on telling other people how to do it well enough that people would still be coming back to their games thirty years later. And I've run games for lots of people. Newbies, oldbies, middlebies, experienced gamers, other GMs, kids, adults, the whole shebang. I've run official games for a number of companies at conventions. I've even written seminars on GMing for organized play groups. I really do know my stuff. And that's not all. Actual game designers have liked my stuff so much that they've even asked me to work on their products. Technically, I'm a freelance game designer now.
And I don't believe in fluffy, useless crap advice. I believe in practical, useful advice that tells you what to actually do. And I'm not afraid to tell you in a no-nonsense tone. I'm not here to hug you and kiss you and tell you that there's no wrong way to game. I'm here to tell you that there ARE wrong ways to game and you don't want to do them. And then I'll teach you how to do it right.
But Surely, You're Not Doing this Alone!
Of course I'm not. I'm brilliant, not crazy. My job is just to write this thing. I've got a whole team of people whose job it is to actually turn my great words into an actual book.
First, I'm working with the fantastic Third Act Publishing to actually, you know, turn the words into a book. And the head of Third Act, Jim McClure, he's a dude I've worked with before. He knows his stuff. He's successfully published several of his own games and helped other independent game designers get their stuff to market too. He knows publishing and Kickstarting inside and out.
Second, the amazing Big Jon Mosley will be illustrating the book. He's a comic and graphic artist from Long Island, New York and a graduate from the NYC School of Visual Arts. He's done all of the art over at TheAngryGM.com and even designed the character. Well, he drew the character. It's based on the actual Angry GM's actual appearance. But he translated my visage to comic form.
Third, I've got the unequaled Brian "Fiddleback" Casey to edit the thing. He's a freelance game editor and writer and a long-time podcaster. You might have heard his voice reading my words on The GM Word of the Week podcast. Yes, that's him. But his voice isn't what I'm after. I'm using him for the same editing talent he's used on Fantasy Flight Game's Star Wars RPG and Modiphius Entertainment's Mutant Chronicles and Infinity RPG line.
Fourth, we've got the peerless Colin Kyle to lay the book out. Do the layout. To art the layout? Whatever. As one of the founders of Wrong Brothers Gaming, he's an enthusiastic gamer, a social media manager for the Blaze Breakers marketing firm, and he has a PhD in ecology and evolution from U of Chicago. I'm not sure how that relates to his gift for layout design... artistry, but he's got it nonetheless. Also, he finally cleared up our burning question about the actual difference between a frog and a toad. So he got the job.
Okay, I'm Sold. But What's the Actual Book Going to Look Like?
Are you really so hung up on appearances? The content of the book is going to be amazing. I already said that. Who cares what the wrapper is going to look like?
Okay, fine. The actual book will be a nice, durable softcover book. It'll be digest size, so it'll sit comfortably on a bookshelf amongst either your RPG books or your casual reading books. That's about six by eight inches, if you want to get picky. It'll end up being about 130 pages long. And it'll have nice, black-white-and-gray-scale comic art by Big Jon Mosely.
The book will be divided into three major sections. The first section will be for folks who have only a vague understanding of RPGs. That's the kid brothers and nieces I already mentioned. The second section, slightly longer, will be for people - either the newbies or experienced players - who want to jump the screen and organize their first game section. The third - and longest - section will be chock-a-block full of gaming advice designed to help new and experienced GMs "git gud" at running games. It'll be easy to navigate between the different sections, so you only have to read the parts you need.
Black-and-White Art? 130 Pages? But I Want More!
I bet you do. Well, look, my goal with this Kickstarter is to get a book into your hands. And to get it there in six months too. People say I'm mad to promise that. I say "I'm not mad, I'm Angry." And I wanted to make sure that was going to happen. So, I'm aiming at the easiest, fastest, most efficient way to do that.
But, I want to cram even more content into this thing. A 130-page, black-and-white book is just the beginning. I'd love to add more chapters, more pages, and more topics. And I'd love for the book to be in full color. Jon's art deserves it. So, I've added a bunch of stretch goals. The more support people like you throw at the book, the more I'm going to stuff into it and the better it'll look.
And that's not all. If we can really blow the funding out of the water, I'm even going to make a special bonus available. I'll write a full-on introductory adventure module for new GMs to use when they finally do get behind the screen. With pregenerated characters and everything. Heck, any GM will be able to use it, really. Yeah, I know. I'm awesome.
So, if you want more, that's on you. I'm ready to give it. Your support will make it happen.
That Sounds Great, But Spell It Out: What Are the Stretch Goals?
Spell it out? Fine. Here...
Risks and challenges
I'll let Jim explain.
Thanks Angry! I'm Jim McClure, owner of Third Act Publishing. Our company has produced and completed several of our own kickstarter projects and helped managed projects for many other creators as well. There are always risk and challenges anytime you are doing a project of this scale, but through experience we have ironed out the process to make it as smooth as possible.
The big challenge for this project is Angry wanted you to be receiving these books, your books, as fast as possible. He did not wanted you to back this project and then wait a year before you could actually get your hands on it. For this reason we have established a very aggressive timeline to ensure you get your book prior to Christmas 2018.
All of the production pieces have been lined up, the printers are ready, and shy of the world running out of paper, we are confident this will be delivered on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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