The GM's Guide to Faster Combat
Let me show you how to create and run Hollywood Blockbuster encounters that'll blow your players away
For any D&D edition, Pathfinder or D&D-esque game that involves monsters, minis, initiative and mayhem.
'The Lessons in this book are an excellent, step-by-step programme for any GM seeking to speed up not only combat, but any type of contest.
While the book is aimed at GMs of rules-heavy systems, I have found a mass of good advice to help me run my narrative-style game.' - Phil Nicholls
Slow combats kill games. They drain fun out of sessions and leave your group tired, bored and frustrated. And if you are like me, you feel responsible and want to do something about it.
Thanks for your interest in The Game Master's Guide: How To Run Fast & Exciting Combats. My name is Johnn Four and I've written many RPG books on mastering the GM craft, have been a columnist for Dragon Magazine, helped write the DMG2 and have been publishing Roleplaying Tips regularly since 1999. I co-wrote this book with Tony Medeiros, a great guy and an RPG combat specialist who runs the LeonineRoar.com blog.
You've come to the right place because we know exactly what you can do to make your combats sleek, fun and exciting. In these 267 pages we're going to show you exactly how to be a great combat GM.
You'll run games with more confidence, more skill, and more excitement with our playtested proven methods.
'The book idea is AWESOME, and I think what you have is really well thought out and executed.
We've taken some ideas of how to speed up combat from your book and they're quite helpful.
But you also spend a lot of time talking about crafting a story, and how to integrate combat into that.
I will probably end up rereading the entirety of the book.' - Chuck Lawton, Wired/GeekDad
Faster Combat teaches you step-by-step in great detail how to GM amazing combats. We break things into five different quests for you:
The Five Quests For Faster Combats
Quest #1: Knowledge(Game). Develop your GM IQ.
Game masters have different strengths and styles. So do players. Figure these out and how you mesh, and you will know exactly what to focus on to improve your encounters. You need to learn what time thieves are robbing your combats. Where does all the time go? What wastes the most time? Where are the biggest, easiest wins to shorten encounter length?
Quest #2: Design: Monsters, Encounters, Tactics.
Pack more into combats to make them shorter and more exciting.
Huh? That doesn't make sense. How can more content turn into less time?
The secret is in design - stuff that happens before combat even starts! In this Quest you will learn how to build encounters that are fast-paced, exciting and packed full of cool elements that'll excite your group.
You will learn:
- How to design Mission Objectives
- How tweak monsters for speed and effectiveness
- How to build interesting CombatScapes
- How to create cunning Master Plans for tough yet entertaining fights
Quest #3: Roll Initiative! How to launch killer combats.
How you launch into combat affects the whole energy of the encounter.
You've got a wicked design. Now you just need to let it flourish with some deft GMing. In Quest #3 we give you the Table Rules For Speed, a checklist for pre-combat preparation, methods on how to manage table chaos well, introduce you to Speed Rewards and show you how to get your whole group playing faster - even that slow guy who can't make even easy decisions.
Quest #4: Running Spectacular Combats. How it ends is how it gets remembered.
Your combats will be remembered by how they end. You've got to nail this right. Session energy and adventure momentum depend on it.
If your combats end like a deflating balloon your group will lose interest. Even though you got the other pieces perfect, the final impression is the lasting one that carries over into the next encounter and determines if your sessions are electric.
Quest #4 shows you cunning foe tactics to help you challenge the PCs and build up the drama. We also teach you about different Combat Outs that are sure to surprise your players and get them howling for another encounter.
Plus, you'll learn about Waves, judgement calls and problem rules.
Quest #5: Advanced Lessons. Combat Mastery.
These lessons will take you to a new place in your GMing. No exaggeration.
In Quest #5: you will learn:
- The secret to mastering the rules once and for all
- How to craft and wield effective cheat sheats
- How to use rewards to properly motivate your players to do what you want
- Post-Mortems: the secret to easy and constant improvement
- Your James Bond moves: the keys to running with superior style and consistency
'Let me tell you that I've been scrupulously studying the Faster Combat course and results came right after very few lessons.
Indeed we had faster and more exciting combats but that allowed us to concentrate on role play, story telling and ultimately pure fun.
For this I will not thank you enough. And seriously, there is a hundred thousand reasons I'd reccomend it to another GM.
It's the only clear, precise and schematic way to improve your GMing style that can be found on the RPG market.
Every page contains at least one or two tangible ways to become a better GM.' - Matteo Luconi
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