For immediate release
LICHFIELD UK, 11th April 2013: Release of 'The Book Of Roleplaying Hints, Tips and Ideas' on DrivethruRPG.
'I've been writing articles about the roleplaying hobby for the last couple of decades and they've appeared in online magazines, on websites and on blogs. I thought I'd get them all together and release them as an e-book as e-books seem to be the way forward and they're quick, easy and accessible.
I cover everything from problem GMs and players, designing locations and characters, coming up with new ideas, how to maintain a consistent atmosphere... I've made copious notes on how to improve my gaming experience and maybe someone out there might benefit from it. Now that they're collected in this single volume it's easy to download and utilise.'
1. WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON, ANYWAY? - What makes Gamesmasters act the way they do? Jonathan Hicks would like to know, but he can't be bothered to get involved with all that psychological rubbish. Let's have a look at some of the more common styles of refereeing instead. It’s much more fun.
2. PING! WHAT A GREAT IDEA! - If you're a veteran roleplayer, then you probably know the problem of coming up with new and interesting ideas. If you're new to gaming, then you'll need inspiration. Jonathan Hicks looks at ways to get those creative juices flowing.
3. THE QUEST FOR THE GOLDEN GROUP - There are quite a few roleplaying groups out there. Which type are you most suited to?
4. WELL, WE`VE ALL GOT OUR PROBLEMS - Campaign going down the pan? Players not interested anymore? Running out of ideas? Games lost their sparkle? Here are some hints.
5. HE'S THE INVISIBLE MAN... - `What do you mean you can't come?!?' This is a common expression of the GM when a player can't make it to the game. What, then, is a GM supposed to do?
6. ROAD TO RUIN - How to be an annoying player.
7. CREATING INTERESTING NPCs – The title says it all.
8. THREAT ASSESSMENT - How to make your bad guys more realistic.
9. BACK FOR MORE - Writing stories that keep the players attending your games.
10. ON LOCATION - Improving the gaming atmosphere.
11. KEEPING YOUR COOL - Have you ever had those times when, during a game, you just want to go mad because of what your players are doing?
12. PLAYED TO DEATH - Let’s take a look at the sobering subject of character death in roleplaying games.
13. THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC - How music can improve the atmosphere of a roleplay session.
14. WING AND MILK - Or - How to run a game without really trying.
15. FOURTEEN ELEMENTS OF STARSHIP DESIGN FOR SCI-FI GAMERS – Designing a starship that suits you, your gamers and your games.
16. FUN IN GAMES - An article that asks the question ‘who gets the most enjoyment out of a roleplaying session?’
17. MASS COMBAT - Dealing with Large Scale Battles in roleplaying games.
18. PREPARATION IS THE KEY - Getting ready for that all-important game.
19. CREATING A SETTING WITH DEPTH – Want to make your fantastic locations more memorable to the players?
20. 8 GAME ETIQUETTE TIPS – Simple things to remember so that your games run smoother.
21. TIPS ON GENERATING SCI-FI LOCATIONS - We've all experienced the thrill of space exploration through science fiction movies, books and other media. We've seen some amazing things, from imagination and from deep- space pictures. How can you inject some of that wondrousness into your own Sci-Fi locations?
22. CREATING BASIC CHARACTER PERSONALITIES - In this article, I hope to give you some ideas on motivation based on upbringing, and give a few ideas on what to consider before deciding why a character, NPC and PC, is disposed to act a certain way. It may help to add more depth to the game as whole personalities are revealed, and it helps open up more role-playing opportunities as players start to question their own motives.
23. 6 TIPS FOR CREATING ALIENS FOR SCI-FI GAMES - Aliens. When you think of these you immediately think of two things - Star Trek-type rubber faces, or movie-type dark killing machines. But the ecology and personality of aliens are as diverse as the worlds they herald from. Here are a few pointers on how to give your aliens a little more depth than having them look like a man with pointed ears saying 'what is this human emotion called love?'
24. 7 TIPS ON CREATING MOMENTS OF HIGH DRAMA- So, what am I talking about here? Well, what if you could insert these emotionally dramatic moments into a scenario or campaign and make the players do two things: Throw a shocking revelation into the works that forces the players to rethink the direction of the game. Give the players something to sink their roleplaying teeth into instead of the next puzzle or threat. The emotional shock of a sudden revelation or an unexpected incident during a campaign can heighten emotion and make quite an impression on the players.
25. RUNNING A SCI-FI SETTING WELL: 8 TIPS FOR NEWBIE GMs - The most difficult problem is if the players aren't getting 'into' the setting. GMs might look across the table at any time and see one or two of the players (and in the most extreme cases, all of them) looking a little bored or lost. This might have something to do with the way things are progressing or because they can't get a feel for the game. I've included nine ways a sci-fi GM can enhance and colourfully portray their game's setting.
26. QUICK-START SCI-FI RPG TIPS FOR NEWBIES- Never done any Science Fiction gaming before? Are you a Fantasy fan and fancy a change of scenery? Here are a few handy quick-start tips to make the transition smoother.
27. MODERN GAMIMNG TIPS - A lot of gamers want to game in the fantastical, but gaming in a contemporary setting is a mirror of real life, so you have to ask the question - what's the point? I've combated that by placing the players in a setting they hardly know from experience, such as a Vietnam game and special ops in South America. Removing the players as far as possible from their real life environment can be as effective as placing them in a fantasy world.
28. 6 TIPS ON HOW TO BRING DISPARATE CHARACTERS TOGETHER - Games and campaigns revolve around a core group of player characters all working together to either complete their own agendas or a larger quest. Usually, when the players are creating their group, they share out careers, abilities, and skills to make a balanced bunch of PCs who can handle almost every eventuality thrown at them by the GM. However, this may not always be the case.
29. 5 TIPS ON USING DREAMS IN AN ADVENTURE - It is said that dreams are an indication of the subconcious thoughts and feelings of the individual (there are plenty of books on how to interpret dreams in circulation) that are given form in the subconscious. There is also a supernatural quality to dreams and nightmares that has been addressed in many writings as views of possible futures - and this is what makes them great as a role-playing tool.
Jonathan's other work includes:
Published twice by the British Science Fiction Association in their writer's magazine 'FOCUS'.
Designed the missions and wrote the dialogue for a computer game of Universal's new Battlestar Galactica, Designed the simple game system 'SKETCH' and created 'Farsight Games' to promote this simple, easy to run rules light game.
Designed and wrote 9 SKETCH games, both new settings and established ones (in an unofficial capacity). Wrote for and edited 9 issues of 'ODDS: The Tabletop Roleplaying E-Magazine', and interviewed RPG industry notables such as Bill Coffin and Eric Gibson.
Reviewer for the tabletop gaming hobby, with reviews featured on own blog Farsight Blogger as well as rpg.net. therpgsite.com and ukroleplayers.com.