- What this Blog Is About
- Games I Play
- My GMing Style
- The Name of this Blog
Welcome to the initial post on this blog, fellow reader. Maybe you have reached this page after clicking and reading through myriads of pages ripe with wonderful content several years from this text’s perspective. Maybe you have just clicked on the „Next Page“ button of this blog’s home and landed here, thinking „huh, what a short blog“. Or possibly this is entirely the only post here yet. Though I sincerely hope it won’t stay that way very long.
What this blog is about
So, what is this blog about? In short, it is about Pen and Paper Role Playing Games (though it might be possible that I digress into related topics at times). I myself have been a GM¹ for 13 years and I have been playing role playing games for 17 years now – which might not seem much to you, but considering that I am only 25 years old as of now, that adds up to the tender age of 8 when my elder brother first introduced me to Shadowrun (sparking a burning passion for role playing games, that has not since ceased).
I addition to playing much and many role playing games and spending a large part of my free time to read up and prepare for them, I also follow and read up on RPG debates and discussions about GMing style. This shaped my style, approach, and mentality towards games heavily.
This blog is mainly for GMs, as most posts will be about the role of and techniques for the GM or about providing ready-to-use material for GMs (like one shot games, campaign settings etc.).
My name is Tim Höregott (yes, that strange sick-looking vocal is a German „ö“) and I live in Berlin, Germany. My last name is also the source of this blog’s title, as „Höregott“ means „listen to god“ in German. The additional „s“ alludes to the consensus of fantasy role playing games having multiple gods.
I was born in 1990, went to school and finally studied game design in Berlin. For the last 3 years I have been working in the digital games industry as a Game Designer. Being part of the games industry certainly shapes my view on Role Playing Games as well, and I am happy to be able to pull knowledge from both fields together.
Games I Play
I have read and played many different games. Possibly I will update the following list when I start or encounter a new game, but chances are I will forget it. This is an (almost) exhaustive list as of now.
You will notice that Dungeons & Dragons is NOT on the list. I have played one or two sessions with my dad’s old red box from the 70s, but I never came to adore the style of the game as much. It simply isn’t the corner of gaming I come from, having started with social-based games like Shadowrun and World of Darkness.
- Das Schwarze Auge (The Dark Eye)
- Changeling: The Dreaming (World of Darkness)
- Vampire: The Masquerade (World of Darkness)
- Trail of Cthulhu
- Little Fears
- Mage: The Awakening
- Demon: The Fallen
- All other World of Darkness-Games
- Changeling: The Lost (Chronicles of Darkness)
- Call of Cthulhu
- Unknown Armies
- Game of Thrones
What you will find here
The things I will post on this blog include:
- Complete campaign scenario outlines that you can use or build upon to lead months of playtime within a game world
- Complete one shots (mostly horror) to read through and run
- Homebrew games and game scenarios to use
- Tips and techniques on preparing and GMing in my style
- Theoretical thoughts on role playing games and gaming in general
- Improvisational stuff to be used at the gaming table
- Possibly status updates on games I run
The style of this content will be
- hopefully to-the-point and condensed
- as structured and organized as possible
- thus, many posts will begin with a table of contents before the read more button AND a distinguishable Fluff part (with a flavorful introduction to the concept) and Crunch part (where I get down to business and present the concept to you)
The reasons for this are
- I really love structuring and formatting stuff (after all, half of my work as a game designer is structuring information in a way it can be unambiguously grasped by other members of the team)
- For me, half of understanding a text or concept is structure
- I can write my posts on the subway
My GMing style
To be able to judge if this blog will be a match for you, you probably need to know more about my GMing style. These are the corner stones of my style (though I will certainly elaborate more on each one in later posts):
- Breathing world: Instead of preparing storylines, I prepare worlds with different factions, persons, and organizations. All have their own agendas, plans, world views and perspectives, so I can always react organically to all player input. This also sparks dozens of hours of play with pretty little preparation involved, and makes for a logically consistent game from the first minute.
- Openness: There is no desired outcome. When I prepare campaign play, my focus is solely on emergent stories. The power is with the players, and they will decide which path they take through this world. I just make sure that everywhere is happening enough stuff to keep us all entertained.
- Game-specific: Though I do have a distinct style of GMing, I will always take strengths and focuses of game systems into account and work important themes of a game into my preparations.
- Entertaining: The focus of my games is on fun. Not the hilarious drinking-game kind of fun, but rather the thrilling, entertaining, immersive kind of fun that comes from experiencing a story together with your friends. So everything that happens at the table is for the entertainment of everyone.
- Connectedness: I do not like encounters. Though it’s just a term that can easily refer to something found in my games as well, you will never find anything happening in any of my games that is not connected to the overall stories or conspiracies (as the term is usually used). There is no combat for combat’s sake or something along those lines in my games. There are always multiple paths to a goal though, so when my players choose to walk the combat road, more power to them.
- Secrets instead of failure: I hate to see my players fail. Usually, I avoid having them make lethal decisions, and rather go for horrible consequences they must live with. My players will never face unsolvable situations (see below for exceptions), and all their ideas are considered worthy entries to the game world. Motivations and truths are always deeply hidden in my games, though. So while my players will never stand in front of a magically sealed door they have no way of overcoming because they didn’t found the secret key earlier, you will very well see them pondering for hours about the motivations and secrets behind people and places until they finally and slowly reveal themselves.
- Preparedness: I do not allow boredom in my games. Whenever my players don’t have a clue what to do next, I am prepared for that and am ready to provide a new plot element. This is a tool I will likely present to you within one of the next posts, and I call it the „Gunmen list“.
- Horror: This is a somewhat special corner of my games. I love horror games, and most of my games will include a tiny bit of spookiness one way or the other. In sole horror games though, there will seldom be a happy end. To me, horror stories don’t feel as strong when in the end everything is well. I try to have my horror games as intense as possible. Mostly, there are few to no combats, as most of the time the dangers cannot be overcome. This might come from my love to Lovecraft’s fiction, but I’d always prefer invisible and omnipresent dread over monster shooting.
Thank you very much for reading, and welcome to my blog!
¹ I use common abbreviation terms from the hobby, like GM for Game Master, PC for Playere Character(s), NPC for Non-Player Character(s), D6 for 6-sided dice, and so on.