Signs your GM is now Bendis:
1) It takes three game sessions to finish the team conference, one to fight, and two more to sum up.
2) For no particular reason, your group is wiped out by a fellow team mate over a subplot that was resolved years ago.
3) You find your characters saying "uh" or never quite finishing their sentences, instead going "...".
Signs your GM is now Lucas:
1) Aliens are among us, and most of them are goofy, or MIGHT be intimidating if only they were three times as tall!
2) Your character's romantic interest turns out to be a sibling in the middle of the story... yuck!
3) Turns out magic is now based on small bacteria in your blood cells. Who knew?
4) The GM actually penalizes you XP for great dialog, because "That's not the way I wrote it!"
Signs your GM is now Claremont:
1. Nobody ever shuts up.
2. Plotlines from games he ran 20 years ago suddenly pop up and threaten the world.
3. He GMPCs a 1500 point Asian/British Ninja Telepath.
Signs your GM is now Millar:
1) Your enemies, no longer content with defeating you, now plan to humiliate, torture, and rape you.
2) So do members of your own government, the general public, the people you just saved, and any NPC Team Mates.
3) No NPC thinks that there's anything surprising or unusual about this.
4) Your powers mysteriously stop working and your PER Rolls are blown as often as necessary for #s 1 and 2 to occur.
Signs your GM is now Liefeld:
1) The male characters develop manboobs.
2) Teenage girls suddenly have large crotches.
3) Everyone carries huge guns, whether they need them or not.
Signs your GM is now the producers of LOST:
1. The first game session is exciting, surprising and leaves you eager for more.
2. Every subsequent session throws more questions at you but resolves nothing.
3. Your "secret" team base has more visitors than the island in Gilligan's Island.
Signs your GM is now Laurell K. Hamilton:
1. Your PCs all become Mary Sues, effortlessly breezing through threats without breaking a sweat.
2. You begin acquiring XPs in truckload lots, revising your character sheets after every session to spend them on nifty new powers without rhyme or reason.
3. Time slows to a crawl (covering maybe 20 minutes in a night's gaming) and plots are forgotten in favor of endless, poorly role-played sex.
Signs your GM is now Spider Robinson:
1. You find that you can tell with 100% certainty whether an NPC is a good guy or a villain with a simple test. If they're Beatles fans, punsters, or know obscure blues lyrics, you can trust them absolutely—and in fact are expected to.
2. Your team mentalist starts losing XP anytime he acts in a less than saintly manner, because "telepaths just wouldn't be like that, man".
3. NPCs make plans or deductions based on blithe assumptions, because so-and-so "must be true," ignoring other perfectly reasonable explanations that also fit available evidence... and of course are proved correct.
Signs your GM is now Garth Ennis:
1) He runs a Four Color Game with all the Optional Critical Hit, Impairment, Disabling, and Bleeding Rules;
2) After the first session, all the players have learned the above rules by memory;
3) Code Versus Killing is replaced with Casual Killer on the Permitted Psychological Limitations list;
4) The NPC villains turn on one another in a humorous orgy of gore and excessive violence, leaving a mass of barely sentient, maimed organs strung together for the PCs to finish off.
Signs your GM is now Alan Moore:
1) No matter what kind of tone you had planned, the game turns dark, dreary and violent.
2) Any real life/historical NPCs start acting completely out of character, or completely off from previous encounters.
3) When you play your character the way you want, he gets pissy and claims "That isn't what that character is supposed to do" and leaves the group.
Signs your GM is now Robert Jordan:
1) The campaign starts off fairly well, but after 5 or 6 adventures, things really start to drag and things really begin to lose focus.
2) S&M gear starts showing up as magic items.
3) He has the annoying tendency once or twice a session to use exactly the same phrase to describe NPCs and their actions, even ones that have been with the group from the beginning.
Signs your GM is now James Starlin:
1) The campaign's main villain repeatedly becomes omnipotent.
2) The main villain is finally defeated by a NPC introduced halfway through the campaign.
3) Afterward the PCs watch while the main villain saves the universe.
4) If the PCs by some fluke defeat the main villain, the GM later decrees that that was actually a robot/clone/disguised flunky.
Signs your GM is now Stephen King:
1. The phrase "I check to make sure it can't kill me first" becomes standard SOP when approaching anything—no matter how innocuous.
2. You STILL go through a new character every other session.
3. The self-inserted GMPC is NOT a Mary Sue; in fact, he's klutzy and a little stupid.
4. When bored, he tosses your characters into another dimension with some horrific twist off a cultural archetype.
5. All villains you encounter, when you meet them, will be wearing a "sardonic grin".
Signs your GM is now Rumiko Takahashi:
1. Your male character has bigger boobs than all the female PCs, combined.
2. The female PCs pay no points for the Giant Hammer O' Doom they heft around.
3. There's a romantic subplot, but she refuses to let you address it.
4. After three sessions, you map out the love geometry, and run out of paper.
5. The game's been running every week for 12 years, and you still have no idea how you're ever going to resolve this mess.
Signs your GM is now Billy Ja- err, Tom Laughlin (hard to tell the difference....):
1: Martial Artists are required to take CSL's with the Limitation: Only When Not Wearing Shoes.
2: Bad guys wait around and let you take your shoes off so you can use those CSL's.
3: Every heroic character is required to have Code Versus Killing and Total Pacifist.
4: Every heroic character is required to have Berserk: When Minorities Are Oppressed, Insulted, Or Harmed.
5: If you try to play your Code Versus Killing or Total Pacifist out in place of Berserk, you lose XP.
6: All characters have Hunted: By The Man, 14-, Kill, NCI... but when they kill and maim agents of The Man in a Berserk Frenzy, heroic characters are given astoundingly light prison sentences.
7: This is, of course, an incredible injustice that only proves The Man is evil. But not for the reasons one might expect.
Signs your GM is now watching too much anime:
1. You cannot perform Presence Attacks until you buy several levels of Growth, Head Only (-2).
2. Male characters must take a 3d6 Susceptibility to seeing bras or panties, to represent a nosegush.
3. Female characters must take a Physical Limitation: Completely Helpless Near Tentacles.
Signs that your GM is now Big Brother:
1) You get revised character sheets every week.
2) You only get 2 minutes of combat every session.
3) You are limited to only using words that are in the glossary.
Signs your GM is now a feminazi (or, how to tell if your female Champions GM has been through a bad breakup):
1. Female players given 100 more points to use on powers and skills than males.
2. Your (male) character sheet is combed over for HOURS, looking for Signs of munchkining.
3. All females given free OCV bonuses to hit Vitals.
4. After several sessions, you don't even roll for your combat against female villains anymore; you know they'll win, probably kicking you in the nads in the process.
5. When you ask why females in her world are more powerful than males, she either smirks knowingly, or goes off on a tirade of how that's so "typical".
Signs that your GM is now Kurt Busiek:
1) Everything is perfect.
2) Every NPC is so crystal clear in your head that you are in love with everything.
3) Every detail makes perfect sense.
4) The right lines are spoken at the right time.
5) No NPC's step on the toes of any other.
6) PCs and NPC's need each other and it makes sense.
7) There are no plot loopholes.
8) When there's a crisis, other people show up to fight it too, but you don't care, you love it anyway.
9) Even Normals can be heroic....
10) Too bad you're lucky to get four sessions of this game a year....
You are now waiting for the next issue of Astro City.
Please drive carefully.
Signs your GM is now Mark Waid:
1) When he runs a disappointing adventure and you complain, he reminds you of that great Kingdom Come adventure he ran years ago.
2) Months and months can pass between his games, with him starting new games during the interim yet still complaining about how he doesn't have the time to finish the original campaign.
3) Characterization of NPCs is more erratic than a hummingbird's flightplan.
Signs your GM is now Grant Morrison:
1) Occasionally during games something mind-blowingly weird doesn't happen to your character.
2) Adventures are prefaced with a suggestion of what drug will maximize the experience.
3) At the end of the game you aren't sure if you were entertained or irreparably damaged.
Signs your GM is now Doctor Doom:
1) Drink servers look suspiciously like Doombots
2) Every plan is just a little too perfect, like he were trying to iron out the holes in it.
3) Steal the Power of Galactus woven into nearby tapestries in the gaming room.
4) That annoying Reed Richards keeps calling on the phone asking what he's done with Susan this time.
5) Pizza Delivery is ALWAYS on time.
6) You've played this session before, haven't you? Is that a time platform under the gaming table?
7) No matter what, no matter how much you want to kill him, he always has an escape route.
8) Master Villain Soliloquies seem a little too close to home.
9) Power grid goes down for eight blocks when he powers up that electro-battlemap.
10) When you finally defeat the enemies of the evening, he informs you it's just another step in HIS master plan...
Signs your GM is now J. Michael Straczynski:
1) Obscure details from the first gaming session end up being critical to beating the Big Bad Guy in the last session.
2) Your campaign takes five full years to play out, and you almost never have one-shot adventures.
3) Half the characters in your group have addiction issues.
4) NPCs get as much screen time as the PCs, and a lot of the time they get better dialog.
5) Child PCs are verboten, and any child NPC who shows up is dead by the end of the adventure. Guaranteed.
6) Your campaign backstory goes back one million years—and you're expected to know ALL of it.
Signs your GM is now Warren Ellis:
1) Everything is part of an epic conspiracy. The Big Bad, the other Supers, the Men in Black, what's on TV, what you had for dinner last night, where your dog chooses to perform his bodily functions—Everything.
2) The big ideas of the campaign are fascinating, compelling, amazing.
3) The actual combats last about one turn, tops, and major bad guys are either invincible or punked.
4) Most "opponents" just turn up to give a speech and then vanish.
5) The only way the government could be more stupid and corrupt is if Millar took over.
6) Somehow, despite all this, it's still good.
7) The things that make a really good superhero game are missing, because that is just too traditional, and the GM wants to be edgy.
8) There is always an homage to things in other games/the source genre, but in this game they are mocked and ridiculed.
9) Only one out of every 6 adventures is good, but when it is that good, you almost are willing to stick around for everything else; and the bad stuff sucks harder than any game you have ever played.
Signs your GM is now Joss Wheedon:
1) Female PCs and NPCs are built on at least 20% more points than male PCs and NPCs, always.
2) Female PCs always get a power boost in the final fight against a male opponent.
3) Villains regularly join the Heroes and become romantic interests. They also lose at least 30% of their character points when this happens.
4) Heroes who go Evil get at least a 30% character point boost.
5) NPC dialog is fun, zippy, and totally interchangeable.
6) The GM's romantic problems are pushed into the lives of the PCs and NPCs, no matter how out of character that may be.
7) The GM puts lots of lesbianism, including graphic make out sessions, into the game, while not quite understanding the lesbian experience. His mentioning of gay themes is always a joke meant to take the piss out of male characters. He brags about how this marks him as tolerant.
8) He also boasts about how including plenty of sexy, violent, over-pointed female NPCs make him a feminist.
9) He ignores his own established world background, house rules, and continuity all the time.
10) PCs and NPCs have absurdly variable power levels. You get the feeling he doesn't bother to write up NPCs at all.
11) When he's happy, he's vastly entertaining. When he's depressed, you have no idea why you came to the game session.
12) A major and popular PC is killed just to prove that the danger is real.
12.5) ...Even if at the character is brought back from the dead at the start of the new season.
Signs your GM is now Mark Millar:
1. All the NPCs in the game start acting different.
2. PC Decisions are now made by the GM.
3. Everyone is evil or incompetent; often both.
4. He complains mightily about GMing superheroes.
5. The body count rises exponentially
6. Better GM's parody his game sessions.
Signs your GM is now Quentin Tarentino:
1. You get to listen to Ironclad and Defender dialogue about foot massages and the true meaning of Madonna's Like a Virgin for a half an hour.
2. The Champion's Jet has "Pv$$y Wagon" painted on the back.
3. The Black Harlequin dances to Stuck in the Middle with You before springing his death trap.
4. Your entire team is CON Stunned by Dr. Destroyer's energy blast and you hear him whisper, "Bring out the Gimp.":
Signs your GM is now Robert E Howard:
1) All male PCs get +10 STR, +3 DEX, and +5 CON. Effective immediately.
2) All female PCs get +5 STR, +5 DEX,+3 CON, and +10 COM. Effective immediately.
3) Everyone gets the Fearless Talent.
4) Although at times your actions seem morally suspect, that's okay. You should see what the villains are up to....
5) The actions of most any non-Caucasuian NPC are suspect.
Signs your GM is now Edgar Rice Burroughs:
1) As many NPCs as possible within the setting spend most of their time nude. On an alien world, that will be pretty much everybody.
2) Female NPCs spend most of their time being kidnapped. These are truly epic kidnappings, lasting the length of several game sessions, with the NPC only showing up long enough to remind the PCs of why they want to rescue her. Often, this reminder will relate to the aforementioned "everybody is naked" factor.
3) Noble followers of ignoble leaders are the rule, rather than the exception. Try not to kill too many named lieutenants, as you'll have the opportunity to purchase them as Contacts or Followers at the end of the adventure.
4) In early adventures, the challenges you face will require you to think things through. In later adventures, thinking won't be necessary, and might even derail the game.
5) The GM hands out all sorts of cool powers that last one game session and are then forgotten. Keep track of these; those powers will never allow you to escape a serious threat, but if you remind the GM he may let you use a forgotten power for a single scene, even if you last used it a half dozen game sessions ago and haven't mentioned it since.
6) If you're thinking of playing a female character, get used to watching TV while the rest of the gang tries to rescue her.
Signs your GM is now John Byrne:
1. He tells you not to bother with a backstory, he'll make something up.
2. He tells you that your female DNPC should be a Hunted instead.
3. Any old character will be made young at some point.
4. He advises you not to play a robot.
5) New martial maneuver—-2 OCV -2 DCV Grab one limb, Choke hold.—Byrne Grip.
6) Any female hero that gets mind controlled to evil will get +10 Com and wear leather.
Signs your GM is now Josef Stalin:
1) If you defect to another game, he tries to get you to come back. If you don't, he has you assassinated.
2) You're lucky to see a single supervillain. All of his enemies hurl waves of thugs at you until they're exhausted.
3) Those other GMs, Roosevelt and Churchill? Those are games for weaklings.
4) Your PCs exist to serve him. Any failure on your part gets you sent to the Gulag.
5) Nothing is solved with a velvet glove, only the iron fisted hand works.
6) NPCs exist as his glorious tools to extend the revolution.
7) If you love animals, he forces you to watch while he strangles kittens.
8) If you're Jewish, god forbid, he kills you.
9) If you don't like what happens to your character, you get sent to the Gulag.
10) There are no dice! He decides what happens!
Signs your GM is now Carl Sagan:
1) Vangelis is playing in the background at all gaming sessions.
2) Your first adventure has you going back to the Library at Alexandria to stop the murder of Hypatia.
3) Newbies who complain about building a character because "the math is too hard" are laughed right out of the room.
4) The Villain Of The Week's voice is so calm and soothing that it almost makes you forget that he's trying to kill you.
5) A lot of your adventures involve trying to stop nuclear proliferation and/or saving the ozone layer.
6) Your team vehicle is powered strictly by its passengers' imaginations.
7) Billions and billions of plot complications.
Signs that your GM is now Benny Hill:
1. No killing attacks are permitted.
2. All characters must take Seduction at 16- and a minimum of 6 dice Unluck, only relating to Seduction attempts.
3. Custom Hit Location charts are used, with Vitals representing locations 6-15.
4. Physical Limitation: Mute required.
5. GM constantly plays annoying, tinny, fast-paced music in the background.
6. All characters are required to take at least 6" of extra running, with the Limitation Only When Chased By Angry Bobbies, Enraged Elderly People, Or Women Wearing Nothing But Lingerie.
7. That Limitation is only worth -1/4.
8. All women's' outer clothing is bought as a single OAF "outfit" that is easy to remove.
9. Women's underclothing is bought as an OIF and cannot be so easily swiped.
10. No one takes any damage from falling, but they do have to take the Half Phase to stand up.
11. All NPC's have the Professional Skills of Singing and Dancing at 11- or higher.
12. PC's are not required to do so.
13. All young women have a COM score of 16+
14. Women with a COM score of less than 16 look suspiciously like men in dresses.
15. You play the same four adventure plotlines over and over and over again.
16. You have a great time doing so!
Signs your GM is now Doctor Brutallo (See Digital Hero #15):
1) While the seismotron vibrates, the Titanoid expands, knocking over the gaming table, Doctor Brutallo, and your friends.
2) Doctor Brutallo likes to switch chairs, thus leaving his hair on your clothes.
3) All supplements are renamed to The Universe of Doctor Brutallo, The Ultimate Doctor Brutallo, and Enemies of Doctor Brutallo!
4) Seismotron testing continues during game, thus knocking over miniatures.
5) Brutalloids exist only to smash, thus there is a new gaming table every week.
6) Radiation poisoning from Atomicus, the Radioactive Man makes everyone have bald hairstyles
7) He leaves YOU in a deathtrap when you can't beat the adventure.
8) Kanga the Dominator keeps trying to backseat GM, or mind control your fellow players.
9) Annoying incidental music from Armageddon Mind plays every time Doctor Brutallo says the words "Rule the World!"
10) All plotlines are completely over the top.
Signs your GM is now Douglas Adams:
1) Everyone's required to buy Universal Translator, 1 Continuous Charge lasting 1 Century (+2), IIF: Babel Fish (-1/4), Independent (-2), Extra Phase to activate (-3/4), Gestures to activate ('Here, stick this fish in your ear....', -1/4) Active Cost: 60 points, Real Cost: 14 points.
2) Your team transport takes you reliably to where you need to go, but there's a good chance you'll all be couches when you get there.
3) Tea is not allowed at the gaming table, because the last guy who asked for a cup of tea crashed the game for several hours and just about got everyone killed.
4) Your team leader has as many appendages as Grond.
5) All characters are required to take at least three dice of both Luck and Unluck.
5a) All human characters have to take at least six dice of both. Fortunately, there are only two of them to worry about.
6) Watched: The Mice (11-) is a mandatory 15 point Disad.
7) Attempting to read poetry at the gaming table will get you expelled and/or beaten.
8) The plot lines make no sense, but everyone's having too much fun to notice.
9) Everyone in the known universe—PCs, NPCs, aliens, and superintelligent shades of the color blue—all speak with a British accent.
10) The GM offers everyone Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters at the end of a really difficult fight.
Signs your GM is now Jared Diamond:
1) The effectiveness of your team depends entirely on the local geography and the domestication potential of the available fauna and flora for their ancestors. Middle latitudes and east-west orientation of the continent is a plus.
2) It doesn't matter, since Western civilization is doomed to perish anyway from overconsumption.
Signs Your GM is now George Lucas:
1) The first campaign is epic and so cool people will be talking about it 30 years from now.
2) The second campaign is hard. You have to claw and scrape for every victory and even then it looks pretty bad when it draws to a close.
3) In the third campaign the PCs are upstaged by a bunch of Muppets.
4) There are rumors of a fourth, fifth, and even sixth campaigns, but what little you hear about them make them sound like a totally different setting altogether.
Signs your GM is now Cubby Broccoli:
1) Focuses and vehicles of all types threaten to overrun game.
2) One of your lead PCs shoots the same assassin- through his gun- near the beginning of every adventure.
3) Cool score by John Barry always plays in background.
4) Villains' lairs always look like Star Wars sets.
5) Main headquarters run by two eccentric old dudes—or a old lady and a dude- - one of whom must harass you with "Now, pay attention!" before releasing Foci (-1/4).
6) One of the PCs always beds one of the henchwomen/men—or at least an NPC—before the end of the adventure.
7) Archfiend always seems to change physical appearance between adventures.
8) One of the main heroes played by several different players since 1st Edition came out, but no one minds much.
9) You never do "pay attention" to the old dude.
10) Captured at least once a session, but again, the PCs never seems to mind much.
11) Some of the NPC women's names are almost unrepeatable on this site.
12) Sometimes the first half hour is better than the rest of the adventure.
13) PCs must make sure focuses and vehicles are totally trashed by the end of the adventure, and never used again (except one of the vehicles, everybody loves that one!).
14) When the GM says one of the NPCs "looks like Tanya Roberts", everyone in the party groans audibly....
15) Archfiend must give speech as if he's trying to excuse himself/herself for the evil scheme they are attempting (Psychological Limitation: Must Self-Justify Or Play For An Audience).
Signs your GM is now John Woo:
1) Every climatic fight ends up being in a church. Even if there wasn't one anywhere near the place you started.
2) White doves in flight always indicate the presence of the main villain.
3) Or a PC's death....
4) You automatically get +4 OCV if you do anything in slow motion.
5) All guns have autofire. ALL guns.
6) Villains are either honorable and simply working for the wrong side, or total bastards.
7) The police are usually corrupt and ineffectual. Except for one sensitive cop with a strong sense of duty and honor.
8) This man can kick the collective behinds of the PC's entire team. And he looks so cool doing it, no one cares.
9) One Gun = Super-man. Two Guns = God.
10) The beginning of combat time is signaled by a still lit cigarette being thrown/dropped in slow motion.
11) The standard movement action in combat is now Dive For Cover, which can be done as a free action if wielding two guns or a shotgun in an unusual way.
Signs your GM is now Satoshi Kon:
1. The first ten or so minutes of the game seem completely mundane, but after that, hold onto your hat.
2. The game "goes there." If you have to ask what that means, you don't want to know.
3. It can be very difficult to tell just what plotline is the "real" one. Is your character an aspiring actress or a serial killer? A superhero or a crazy homeless guy? A documentary cameraman or a spear carrier in a samurai rebellion? Or are all of these simultaneously true?
4. Tiny details are actually important symbolism—except when they're just tiny details.
5. The talking dog is completely untrustworthy.
Signs your GM is now Alexander the Great:
1) The GM claims he's a great philosopher because he was trained by Aristotle
2) Cities are mysteriously renamed after the GM.
3) The game ends when one of the players poisons the GM for some mysterious reason.
4) If you have a gay relationship, it's twice as heroic, plus that other guy who likes women gets to keep the girl no matter what happens.
5) If you have a straight relationship, it's okay. They're just someone's beard anyway.
6) Persia has more carpets than warriors, no matter how big their army is.
7) NPC's are clearly wrong, because they are NOT Greek or Macedonian
8) PC's ALL want to conquer the world.
9) That one elephant changes everything.
10) You charge heroically into every battle.
Signs your GM is now Guy Ritchie:
1. Thirty different named NPCs will be introduced in the first run. All with be heavily armed, and all will have at least one gun-related Talent. Those introduced with a freeze-frame will have up to four.
2. At least one PC will be absolutely unintelligible to another PC.
3. The comic relief NPCs will do something astonishingly stupid in the midst of a crime. They will then get PRE attacked by the main villain until they lose bladder control.
4. NPCs may randomly be introduced while on fire or falling from a great height. The PCs will accept this and continue with the plot.
5. Blonde pop-singing diva PCs, played by the GMs girlfriend, may be introduced into the plot. They will immediately Godboy the entire game, and all the other players will unanimously agree that the game now sucks and will quit by the next week's session.
Signs your GM is now George R R Martin:
1) Everyone plays really interesting characters, and the GM's NPCs are interesting to interact with.
2) The whole group is split up all the time, so game sessions seem to be more like communal solo sessions.
3) The world is rich with history.
4) Every NPC you meet will betray you in some way. If they don't, they will die horribly when you least expect it.
5) All the players, because of or despite all of the above, are really enjoying the game. The only problem is the sessions happen with long gaps of nothing in between, and the players don't know what is really going on in the game.
6)The PCs fear being invited to a wedding much more than having to go battle Dr. Destroyer, as the odds of survival are far less;
7) However, the feast will be described in such great detail, that the players' stomachs will start to growl in hunger.
8) For the last session, he told half of the players to not bother showing up. He told everyone who did show up not to come next time.
Signs your GM is now Rex Grossman:
1) All characters, though they are supposed to be at the peak of their professions and experts in their fields, are not allowed to take any higher than an 8- in any PS.
2) All ranged attacks must be bought with an OCV of at least -3.
3) DEX checks at -4 required for such simple tasks as stepping backwards or being handed a ball.
4) Hunted: The Media (14-, harshly annoy) required disadvantage.
5) Social Limitation: Pariah (limited geographic area, Chicago) required.
Signs your GM is now ... Bill Cosby....:
1) Pauses... occur... after every few words... of dialogue...
2) Every... moral lesson... is intricately described.... but takes too long...
3) All acts of incompetence, if done for the right reasons... turn out... correct...
4) A hero... wins... by saying... something incredibly wise...
5) There is... no cursing... ever...
6) You do not... question... Bill Cosby's... moral judgement... ever...
7) When people do... dumb things... their friends must... talk them out of it... or... they are... doomed...
8) Education... is the solution... to every... problem...
9) No one... is mean... not even... the bad guys...
10) Despite all this, that four hundred pound jolly guy is still really cool...
Signs your GM is now JRR Tolkein:
1) All Player Characters are Princes (or Demi-Gods), but this fact rarely gets mentioned. (Remember; even Legolas was the Prince of Mirkwood).
2) All Player Characters, and most speaking NPC's, are male. Most female NPCs do not speak on stage, thought they may be assumed to do so in "down time". There may be one female NPC somewhere who can talk while on stage.... go find her!
3) The campaign history is both longer, and more detailed, than real-world history.
4) When NPC's speak to you in their own racial languages, the GM speaks in their own racial languages! You might be able to take a few college-level courses to learn how to understand them...
5) Elven racial abilities make Vulcans look wimpy and underpowered.
6) Every physical location of any significance (mountains, hills, valleys, ruins, streams, very large trees) has at least three different names that it has been known by throughout the ages. NPCs will refer to the name they know it by. Not by the name you know it by.
7) Campaign mega-plots conspire to sweep the least prepared characters into the most dangerous areas
8) When the group splits up, the GM will follow each subgroup through the meta-plot to its completion, THEN go back and GM for the others, moving them all back together for the finale. (While the other group is being run, best find something quiet to do. Like reading Eragon or something)
9) Even if you find a way to get the incredibly overpowered Mary Sue NPC killed by the even more incredibly powerful monster the GM thought you were going to fight on that bridge... don't worry. He will be back.
10) On even more points.
11) The GM may occasionally wander off on 20-minute tangents about what a particular area "might look like, if it were spring"... even though when your character is there... it is NOT spring.
12) There aren't many powerful Magic Items, but EVERYONE wants them! ;D
Signs that your GM is now Dragonforce:
1) Fantasy only. Ever.
2) The first adventure of a new campaign is fun.
3) The subsequential adventures within the campaign are somewhat the same as the first, with only certain tweaks here and there.
4) Every combat can be done in about a half hour, and you are using ALL of the rules.
5) High-pitched GM voice.
6) He can roll to attack, damage, and knockback in the span of less than a minute, every time, and expects you to do the same.
Signs your GM is now George W Bush:
1) Declares he's "The Decider" and promptly decides to do everything his way, regardless of what the players wanted.
2) Initially Signs off on all the PCs, but reserves the right to make "signing statements" as to how the PCs can use their powers.
3) When presented with the rule book, tells the players to "stop sticking this in my face, it's just a damn piece of paper!"
4) Puts up a "Mission Accomplished" banner after the PCs win their first combat.
5) When his buddy Cheney joins the game, he apparently gets an extra "no-bid" 100 XPs to build his PC.
6) If/when the PCs finally corner Dr. Destroyer, it's only to find he's decamped to an "undisclosed location."
7) The activities of any villain group—any group at all, even GRAB, can be traced by to Sadam Hussein's desire to get weapons of mass destruction.
8) When a PC complains about #7, their secret identity is leaked to the press.
Signs your GM is now Robert Heinlein:
1) All player characters are encouraged to have sex with all other player characters. Even those they have no reason to find attractive due to age or gender. Even blood relatives.
2) PCs who resist #1 will be forced through experiences meant to break them of their irrational resistance to sex with, well, pretty much anything that moves.
3) NPCs will take time in the middle of every adventure to explain their political and philosophical positions at length. Sometimes great length. We're talking 40-60% of game time here.
4) There will always be combat and boobies. Combat won't solve much. Boobies might.
5) Every PC will be encouraged to be a jack-of-all-trades. Specialization, according to the campaign document, is for insects.
6) Serious, humorless people are deeply untrustworthy. Having sex with them can change that.
7) Charming rogues are always trustworthy. You'll be having sex with them, too.
8) You'll be talking about the ideas explored in the campaign for years, but you might forget the actual adventures.
9) Redheads are as common as dirt and all related, necessitating sex between themselves.
10) Your amount of chutzpah is directly proportional to your survival chances.
11) When describing scenes he is extremely meticulous and precise, insisting that "the house is white on this side."
Signs your GM is now Michael Crichton:
1) Two underwater habitats will be destroyed and the Navy will demand answers.
2) Jeff Goldbloom will be involved somehow.
3) Eventually, the entire party will end up on ER... er, I mean in the ER.
4) The movie based on the campaign will be a disappointment.
5) Only three PCs will survive the campaign, and choose to forget the whole thing.
6) He uses the same first and last names for NPCs in this campaign as in a previous campaign, even if they're not the same character.
7) You get more in-depth descriptions of medical procedures than you really needed... or wanted.
8) Monster Island has been replaced by Jurassic Park.
9) ....And now there's some strange entity called "Jerry" going around wreaking havoc with giant squids and sea serpents.
10) Everyone got their superpowers by stepping inside some silver alien sphere at the bottom of the ocean...
11) The campaigns start wonderfully, have really interesting themes and ideas, and as the campaign goes on, the GM seems to flounder, and every campaign he has ever had turned to total garbage by the end.
12) Your are with your gamer friends talking about other things when one of them mentions what the characters will be doing in this week's Thursday game night. Aghast, you can't believe that campaign is still going. You lost interest and quit showing up back in 1996 and thought the group had too!
Signs your GM is now Dr. Zoidberg from Futurama:
1) Every pizza ordered on game night is covered with anchoves... until they finally become extinct from overfishing.
2) The Hit Locations Chart on the inside of his GM Screen is upside-down.
3) He is constantly mistaking a particular male PC for a woman or a robot (or "rowbot" as he pronounces it).
4) Your gaming table now has claw marks at the place he sits.
5) He wears sandals.
6) He gives his NPC write-ups that personal touch by writing them in his own ink.
7) He coughs up pearls on occasion.
Sign your FH GM is now Brian Jacques:
1) The players all play mice or some other small rodent typically associated with being harmless.
2) All the villains are rats or foxes or mustelids.
3) The first session is good. The second and third sessions are fun. Then every session afterwards is a repeat of the first session.
4) He finds excuses to incorporate music into the game.
Signs that your GM is now Ashlee Simpson:
1) You catch her reading entirely from a game module and completely railroads the game.
2) Once you call her out on it, she dances out of the room. Poorly.
Signs that your GM is now SteamTeck:
1. The Master Villain of the campaign is an 8,000 year-old immortal with a face like Satan and a brow like Shakespeare!
2. Pulp Heroic conventions are a natural law.
3. The GM has a 3 ring binder full of plots, with notes on which PCs will or won't work for them (no telepaths in the murder mysteries...).
4. The GM has a foot deep file card box full of NPC character cards...
5 ...which he periodically updates (with XP, notes on new relationships, children, alliances, enmities, etc.) as game years go by.
6. Many (perhaps most) adventure plots can be traced back to events in earlier (sometimes years earlier) adventures, which can be traced back to.....
7. Numerous PCs are the children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren of earlier PCs
8. The campaign has been going on for 30 years (real time), and centuries in-game.
9. The GM rolls all the dice...
10. ...and the players don't seem to mind (or even think it unusual).
Signs that your GM is now Ayn Rand:
1) NPCs regularly pause to give rambling, two-hour speeches that only vaguely touch upon plot points.
2) You know whether or not an NPC is a good guy by how much money they have.
3) The GM waxes philosophical about how their favorite pronoun is "I".
4) The only music allowed at the gaming table is Rush, but nothing newer than 2112 is allowed.
5) Nobody will let you borrow their dice to make a roll unless it's clearly in their own self-interest.
6) Even though almost all of the players think the game was awful, one or two people will insist for years afterwards that it was the greatest game ever played and if all gamers played that way the world would be a much better place.
Signs that your GM is now Philip K. Dick:
1. PCs can be either normal schlubs with little or no ambition, or barking mad.
2. Female NPCs are irredeemably evil and based on one of his ex-wives. Exceptions: The ones based on his current SO are helpful until he breaks up with them, and the Dark Haired Girl is your salvation.
3. Everyone will consume psychopharmacuticals by the handful. If they can't get them, they'll self-medicate with whatever is handy.
4. Taking any psychedelics will kick off a trip that will last for the rest of the campaign.
5. Inanimate objects will talk to you. If they are supposed to, they will generally demand money to operate. ("Anybody got change for the front door?") If not, they'll do it anyway, just to freak you out.
6. Every few sessions, reality will shift somehow, leaving everything about the campaign world and the PCs up for grabs.
7. The PCs are all actually androids, or in cold sleep, or dead, but won't know it until the end of the campaign.
8. The campaign notes consist of uncounted volumes of rambling journals speculating on the true nature of reality and God.
9. Eventually, you will meet God, only to find that He's really an ancient alien satellite orbiting the Earth.
Signs your GM is now Akira Toriyama:
1) A single battle lasts 3 game sessions. Each round takes a half hour.
2) In that battle, the planet is returned to the stone age.
3) Planets are considered expendable.
4) Major villains have the Multiform power, for a much stronger form.
5) He awards character points mid-game, and allows you to spend them immediately.
6) The strongest PCs have Distinctive Feature: Monkey Tail.
7) PCs that have Multiform must take the Limitation Extra Time, yet no villain would take advantage of this.
8) Anyone within an area code of a transforming character would take notice.
9) Pushing rules are extended from 10 points To 100 points.
10) If the PCs have no chance to beat the villain, the GM hands out character points like its candy.
11) The final, epic battle with the story arc villain can last 6-8 game sessions.
12) Death is only the GM's way to saying "Hey, slow down and let everyone else have a turn."
Signs your GM is now Prof. Farnsworth:
1) "Good news, everyone! You're being sent to some random place to perform an inane mission that seems totally mundane, but may well lead to the destruction of our entire space-time continuum."
2) Falls asleep in the middle of an adventure. Sometimes in the middle of a sentence.
3) Has you encounter duplicates of yourselves from a parallel universe. Even though these duplicates not only look like your party, but act exactly the same as your party, he insists that they must be evil, because everyone knows that all parallel universes are filled with nothing but evil duplicates.
4) The most scientifically advanced species in the galaxy are the Globetrotters, from planet Globetrotter.
5) All Master Villains have an army of Mutant Atomic Super-Men! (tm).
6) Occasionally lets slip that this team of player characters are far from the first set he's sent to their deaths in this adventure.
7) Occasionally gets distracted by perusing his Ultra-Porn!
8) would use deus ex to save the party from there own stupidity but he is already in his pajamas
Signs your GM is now Zornwil:
5) In Space
Signs your GM is now Thomas Harris:
1. The most interesting evil NPCs suddenly start only attacking morally bad people and acting like anti-heroes
2. The origins of those formerly interesting NPCs get retconned to include pop psychology excuses for all the bad things they did, even down to writing out some of their former activities which now don't fit with the 'poor misunderstood boy' tropes.
3. As soon as they realize their campaign is popular, their scenario writing skills turn to crap because they assume people will turn up to play anyway.
More Signs that your GM is now Big Brother:
1) He's constantly looking over his GM screen in a foreboding manner.
2) He changes the rules mid-game, and everyone is expected to comply.
3) If anyone says that his game stinks, he puts a mask that is connected to a cage filled with starving rats onto their face until they confess to liking it.
4) Instead of Mountain Dew, everyone drinks some store-brand drink called "Victory Drop."
Signs that your GM is now Dr. Destroyer:
1) He looks up his write up in CKC, and declares it 'Insultingly underpowered', and swears vengeance against this "Steve Long."
2) Each Player is expected to make a character who works for Dr. Destroyer. If told they prefer to play good guys, the Doctor scoffs and assures them might makes right, and they'll end up working for him eventually anyway.
3) Telios suddenly has an INT of 6, and a big bubble head, making Bulldozer look dignified by comparison
4) Similarly, VIPER makes the Keystone cops look competent.
Signs Your GM is now David Eddings:
1. All of the PCs are among the most renowned and noteworthy people in the world. Despite this, they can all up and leave, and traipse around the globe with apparent ease and anonymity.
2. Adventures leading up to major events consist of holding lengthy meetings discussing the pros and cons of various possible courses of action. The major events themselves are either not played out in game time at all, or are tremendously glossed over.
3. All NPCs use identical turns of phrase. Had you noticed that? I thought you might have.
4. Every villain can be defeated by finding the right magic rock.
Signs Your GM is now Stephen J. Cannell:
1. All adventures feature a minimum of one car chase.
2. All such car chases will result in at least one car crashing.
3. All crashed cars explode.
4. All adventures occur primarily in either the quasi-desert country outside Los Angeles, or in run-down industrial areas of Los Angeles.
5. All problems can be solved by building a homemade tank. (Well, okay... that's mostly just in his The A-Team campaign. ;))
Signs your GM is now Mark Millar in his Marvel days:
1) Early in the campaign, many of the ideas are interesting.
2) Early in the campaign, his takes on some of the settings canon characters and tropes often draw a smile, even if the nudge-nudge wink-wink is starting to get on your nerves.
3) As he starts to get bored, NPCs start acting progressively more deranged.
4) As he gets really bored, random torture, rape and cannibalism by NPCs become the order of the day. Formerly competent NPCs become contemptible idiots, and formerly heroic NPCs become deranged villains.
5) Turning NPC heroes into villains has nothing to do with the plot. If called on this, he'll assert (possibly tongue in cheek) that they're still heroes, and this is the sort of thing heroes do.
6) As the adventure gets close to its climax, you realize he has no idea where he wants it to go.
7) As the game finally falls apart, he claims to hate the genre, and mocks you for participating in the campaign.
Signs your GM is now Charles de Lint
1. Each game has at least one spunky, skinny female who believes in fairies, even if all your players are male. If no one will play her, you get a GMPC.
2. The spunky, skinny female turns out to be built on several more points, which, it turns out, come from disadvantages. Namely—Psychological Limitation: Dark Past, Hunteds and Distinctive Feature: Bright Aura.
3. All characters built with Extradimensional Travel capabilities.
4. Extradimensional Travel comes into play only toward the climax of the adventure.
5. You spend half your role-playing time explaining to NPCs that there really are such things as fairies.
6. Just when you think you've nailed the tone of the game, the GM switches to a dark, disturbing one-off. It gives you nightmares.
7. After each session, you catch yourself looking oddly at ordinary things, like crows and tangles of computer wire, half-expecting them to have something to say.
8. The background music is folksy, and made of awesome.
9. Though his technological know-how is lacking, you can never look at search engines the same way again.
Signs your GM is now Laurel K Hamilton:
1) The campaign world sounds rather interesting, if supernatural heavy, but hey, it could be fun!
2) Then the GM introduces the GMPC, a shorter-than-average woman with far-better-than-average looks.
3) After 2-3 sessions, you're pretty sure the GMPC is built on far more points than the PCs are.
4) Despite your best efforts, this woman's sex life slowly becomes the campaign's central plot.
5) Also despite your best efforts, the PCs slowly get shoved aside in favor of all of the GM's various NPCs, most of whom are sleeping with the GMPC.
6) The last straw is when a single session is devoted the the GMPC having sex with several major NPCs. Possibly all at the same time.
7) Every entrance of the GMPC will involve a five-minute description of what she's wearing.
Signs your GM is now Rumiko Takahashi:
1) The PCs will be involved in romantic subplots.
2) The triangle is the least complicated romantic subplot you can hope for.
3) Frustration is funny. Especially in romance.
4) Female PCs and NPCs can inflict astonishing amounts of damage on males, even the uber martial artist sorts, but it's often gone by the next scene.
5) Knockback reaches Megascale levels, even if the Advantage is not bought, especially if a female strikes a male.
6) One female in the cast will cross-dress as a male.
7) Magical gender changes are not unheard of. Beware of water.
8) Males are commonly afflicted with "Stupid Male Syndrome" and will say the wrong thing at the worst possible time.
9) Campaigns will last a long time, usually several years of real time.
Signs your GM is now Arnold Schwartzenegger:
1) If you tell him you got a Raw Deal, you have to find a way to get rid of him and replace him as GM before he gets rid of you.
2) The most sinister villain is always "The Evil Buddy."
3) Games are always episodic. No bad guy seems to survive longer than a few sessions.
4) He didn't start running the game himself! He took it over from someone who was doing such a bad job, that his performance MUST be better.
5) Fights are exceptionally heroic, although the pithy quips after major enemies die seem just a little too scripted....
6) If your STR is higher than 20, you may be required to give Arnold a workout.
7) Do not ask these questions! I am the Champinator! I will govern you like I govern California!
8) You can beat up all the mook bad guys you want, and STILL marry a Kennedy!
9) If your STR wasn't 20 after 4 sessions, it is now!
10) Your char-ak-tah is too weeeek! We will pump him up with our exercise pro-graaam!
Signs your GM is now Raymond E. Feist:
1) All of the PCs are from different cultures.
2) Every member of a culture is practically the same, so much so that they may as well be clones.
3) Every race is "the best" at everything.
4) The initial villains are from a culture who are also the best, even more best than the PCs.
5) The PCs become better than best, and manage to defeat the first villains.
6) A new villain culture appears, and they are even betterer than the best villains that were first more best than the PCs.
7) You quit the campaign, because it is getting a bit silly at this stage. How many bests can there be?
Signs your GM is now Joss Whedon:
1. Everybody (PC and NPC) has complex backgrounds with very quirky elements. The guy who delivers the mail? He's secretly an Elvis impersonator trying to summon the King for his daughter's sixteenth birthday.
2. You get extra XP for snappy dialog.
3. At least one member of the group (most likely a female) will be able to kick everyone's butt yet have some emotional vulnerability or hang-up that will allow the GM to mess with her brain.
4. Another member of the group (most likely a male) will be selected to be the comedy relief, so he will have Physical Limitation: Weirdness Magnet whether he has it written down or not.
5. Any attempt at romance by a PC will end in disaster. Count on it. Nevertheless, every run will involve romantic (read sexual) tension of some sort.
6. The PC's will deal with six totally weird things before breakfast. Don't even ask what they'll find in their cereal.
7. The campaign will either last a handful of runs and then get dropped like a hot potato, leaving you frustrated, or run for a long while, leading up to some big climactic scene then petering out to a series of lame boring runs that don't seem worth it.
8. Pray to your personal deity that everyone in your group has a good singing voice because no matter what you're playing, at some point you will have to sing. In front of everyone else. And they'll have to listen.
Signs your GM is now Noam Chomsky:
1) An incredibly vile and evil race will be introduced in your first session and despite your thoughts to the contrary they are the good guys. You silly heroes are just oppressing them.
2) The Rich Perk will only be allowed if you are willing to admit that you are truly a villain.
3) If you ever question the GM you have 'Misinterpreted the facts' or 'Taken the campaign out of context.'
4) The party may only ever attempt to help those in their immediate area or city. Any branching out will be seen as 'wicked aggression.'
5) If you choose to play as Americans then your characters real name must sound German. After all, you are an evil Nazi.
6) There is an illuminati, oh yes, there is an illuminati. Although they are called 'The Elites' and he gets really angry when you use the term 'illuminati.'
Signs your GM is now Howard Phillips Lovecraft:
1) Everyone must take Disadvantage: Curious To The Point That It Will Kill Me.
2) EGO is the most important stat in the game.
3) You show up to the game with three different character sheets.
4) Looking at the twisted corridors of the temple that has been drawn on the playmat makes you go a little crazy.
5) You win if you die... and stay dead.
6) You DO NOT want the magical, mystical, or otherwise mysterious items that you have found.
7) You need the GM to repeat his narratives four or five times before you understand them, and then wish he hadn't.
Signs your GM is now Clive Barker:
2) Unnamable horror that has a very earthly sense of humor including pithy remarks and sometimes dance moves.
3) More blood.
4) At some point during the night someone will be skinned from head to toe. This will not necessarily kill them, in fact, it may make them stronger.
5) Even more blood.
6) DO NOT! play with the puzzle box.
Signs your GM is now Paris Hilton:
(1) Every character has an irritating Chihuahua animal companion.
(2) Pink costumes. 'Nuff said.
(3) Every NPC has the same vapid expression.
(4) "Normal" people are now called "Mundane."
(5) 80% of your adventures take place in shopping malls or nightclubs.
(6) But you gotta love that 10-point Wealth Perk for all heroes.
(7) Villains get released from PRIMUS custody for the lamest reasons. ("But my business manager told me doing that wasn't illegal!")
(8) COM becomes the new STR, and INT is of course a dump stat.
(9) XP are based upon how many tabloids your picture graces, not how many bad guys you catch.
Signs your GM is now J.K. Rowlings:
1. Every adventure will contain somewhere within it a section of back story that explains the plot of every adventure in the campaign so far. Amazingly this will seem to fit with the current flow of the adventure and help keep the players on track.
2. The first gaming session will take about three hours as the player characters come together to thwart a bank robbery by Ogre. The second session, also about three hours, has the characters confront a small group of villains at a diamond heist. The third session, about four hours long, will be similar. At this point realizing the players like the campaign things change. The fourth session lasts for sixteen hours straight. The fifth is thirty six hours without a break and the sixth is about the same as that. While there are still only one or two actual encounters during each session the GM insists on role-playing through the characters' lives as they go shopping (or is that shipping?), make breakfast, darn holes in their costume ("Darn these holes!" Ron ejaculated angrily. "Stop that at once," Hermione snapped, "it's hard enough threading this needle without it being all sticky.") and so on.
3. About halfway through the campaign you realize with a certain amount of concerned awe that the key facts you need to succeed were almost certainly mentioned in passing by an NPC in the opening moments of the first encounter of the first episode.
4. You can figure out who the goodies and baddies are, and what their back stories are by having a basic knowledge of Latin or English etymology or a general familiarity with world mythology and then asking their name. Hint: Any NPC called Judas Malevolentia is probably to be avoided. If their name is even remotely connected to any type of animal look for feeding bowls in their room.
5. Don't get too attached to your DNPCs.
6. Overweight people are NOT to be trusted.
7. Keep an eye on Stronghold. The revolving door policy is back in force.
8. Your GM has a copy of Anagram Genius. Get yours now.
9. Racism is a bad thing.
10. Racism is a bad thing.
11. Racism is a bad thing.
12. YES WE GOT THAT ONE THANK YOU!
13. The NPCs are NOT going to save you. It's up to you. Deal with it.
14. You may gripe about the GM's foibles, but you'll have a damned good time doing it.
15. You get even more flak from Evangelical groups about your gaming than you did when you bought a copy of TSR's infamous AL93 Module (Dreadful Dungeon of Thelemic Crowleyism in 1989) and then read it aloud in Church. Backwards. To the tune of Stairway to Heaven.
16) At the climactic point of the adventure, something will save you, but you won't know why. This will be explained by some post-game exposition by the Mentor NPC.
Signs your GM is now An Ape... In A Man Suit!:
1) Humans are surprisingly inferior to gorillas.
2) Ape technology is always superior!
3) Female members of the team start ignoring everyone in favor of the local zoo!
4) He says "Keep your hands off me, you damned dirty human!" a lot.
5) He rolls dice with his feet.
6) There's always a bunch of bananas on the gaming table.
7) Climbing, Clinging, and Swinging are common powers. Flight is not. FTL is just right out.
8) He calls you "Hairless ones"
9) He says his King rules because he's blessed by a meteor.
10) His game is limited in sessions by mutual agreement with other gamemasters, despite being wildly popular. No one knows why.
Signs your GM is now Spidy88:
1) Nutballs Are Fun Law: Foxbat lasts longer in a fight than Grond and Holocaust put together, and shows up more often. His Luck is only half the equation.
2) Fantastic Recruitment Law: VIPER isn't particularly dangerous, but is persistent to the point that you have to wonder if a) half the city isn't made up of sleeper agents, and b) said agents are all total masochists to keep trying to stop the heroes. VIPER is also behind everything, and hunts everyone.
3) Ectotherm Competence Law: Mammalian or avian-based superhumans almost never show up. Reptilian, amphibian, cephalopod, or arthropod-based superhumans (or races in fantasy settings) show up with considerable frequency, however—and tend to be either frighteningly competent or just plain frightening (often both). Characters of these types tend to be saints or megalomaniacal bastards, with very few falling in between.
3a) The Real Thing Is Better Law: Monstrous versions of conventional arthropods are often represented by living or preserved specimens of their real-life counterparts on the miniatures table, e.g.. emperor scorpion = huge monstrous scorpion. Horror on the part of the players is generally ignored. On that note, the players will almost certainly face a giant hermit crab at some point.
3b) Be careful where you sit Law: Don't swat at that tickly feeling on your leg (just alert the GM), and shake out your shoes before you go home for the night.
4) Smerb's Law (a.k.a. Octavius' Law): any post-apocalyptic game absolutely must, without fail, contain a sentient mutant octopus on the side of the angels.
5) Diversity Law: Nonhumanoid races in general are relatively common and accepted in fantasy settings, and any "evil" race has at least some good individuals—from orcs to chromatic dragons.
6) Guiltless Cannon Fodder Law: No PC ever has to worry that he's slaughtered an innocent, however—those remarkable individuals described in law 5 hardly ever hang around with their evil relatives, and if they do, are very vocal about their true intentions. The very fact that an individual is opposing the PCs (without a lot of persuasive dialogue) is practically an admission of guilt. Faceless minions are nearly all sociopathic, sadistic orphans.
7) Packrat Law: No character sheet, map, or diagram is ever thrown away. The GM still has piles and piles of 15-year-old TMNT And Other Strangeness characters at his disposal if you get testy.
8) Inverse Packrat Law: Every game session takes 15 extra minutes, minimum, to start, as the GM needs to fish things out of multiple piles of papers.
9) Punching Is Boring Law: PCs are rewarded for unconventional battle tactics. They don't always work, but they're usually fun. Improvised weapons are surprisingly functional as well—from tables to sinks to unconscious mutant woodpeckers.
10) Useful Loot Law: If the GM takes the time to describe a looted weapon or scavenged item, it'll probably come in handy at some point. Players will rarely find something they can't use, or at least sell.
11) Kermit's Law: All dice the GM uses are green. As are the pencils. Many of his GMNPCs are as well (see laws 3 and 13).
12) Conspiracy Law: No plot thread dropped is ever forgotten—just filed for later usage. Things are often as they seem, but the villains don't always spill their guts completely. No details are totally irrelevant—anything you brush off will come back to you at some point.
13) If I Can't Play, I'll Do The Next Best Thing Law: Chances are there'll be an NPC that is a member of the party. In a Champions game, he's usually a speedster/martial artist/totemistic type. In a fantasy game, he's usually a ranger/thief/scout/ninja type. Get used to him—he'll be around for a while.
14) Heroic Invulnerability Law: As long as your character was "doing the right thing" and not being a total jerk or dumbass, he'll at least survive nearly anything unless you say otherwise. Any sufficiently noble sacrifice is often good cause for a "radiation accident."
15) It's Not Really Yours Anyway Law: The team base/vehicles are free.
16) What Enforcer84 Said Law: Don't expect a villain to go down nearly as easily the second time you fight him. He was off his game that first time (see law 1).
17) That Sounds Like Way Too Much Fun Law: I think I want Oddhat to be my GM.
Signs your Champions GM is now Russell T. Davies:
1. You notice your current adventure arc is structurally very similar to the last one. And the one before that.
2. You've defeated your arch enemy and obliterated all trace of him from the universe forever... three times... in the last two years.
3. You catch a glimpse of a major NPC/GMPC's character sheet and see...
The Jack Effect: Major Transform 10d6 (Heterosexual Person Into Bisexual Person), Area Of Effect (49" Radius; +1), MegaScale (1" = 1 km; +1/4), Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2), Persistent (+1/2), Continuous (+1); Gradual Effect (1 Day; -1 3/4), Always On (-1/2), No Range (-1/2), Limited Target (Sentient Beings; -1/4).
(The last one will be clear to anyone who's seen pretty much any episode of Torchwood).
Signs your Champions GM is now David Queenann:
1) Stories sometimes hinge on decisions that require player's understand the distinction between morality and ethics, but when in doubt: punch it out.
2) Every story is hard-boiled, noirish, filled with shifty characters, and steeped in brutally chopped down dialect and slang: genre-shmenre.
3) Character dialog, especially the bad-guys dialog, contains biblical references, homilies, literary criticism, and sociopolitical commentary.
4) All named non-player characters are psychological dichotomies: the moral thug; the honest thief; the ethical (but amoral) cop; the modest call-girl; etc.
5) Being familiar with the period (40's-50's), old movies, and neo-noir literature is the best way to catch plot events on the bounce (hints at plot relevancy are often nested in such references: i.e., if there are three bars in the neighborhood you're canvassing and one of them is named the Blue Parrot... GO TO THE BLUE PARROT).
6) The campaign spanning mega-plot doesn't exist, but there are various discrete major plot-lines advancing at once and the world is so interconnected that the players find themselves maintaining a massive wall-diagrams—and arguing over whose diagram is right with lots of exclamations: "but you know how Dave is...!"
7) The individual major plot arcs are resolved (and some new ones are born), but the game goes on until the players have turned all the discrete events into one giant mega-conspiracy they can live with.
8) When the game is over everyone has a different theory of what the conspiracy was, but the game-master says nothing*
9) All characters have intricate backgrounds woven into the game-world that often include real-world historical events (albeit rendered pulpy for play).
10) There are two options: understand the basics of espionage trade-craft and police procedure... or have enough style and movie acumen to make the scene work anyways.
11) All major villains are heading organizations with good public relations; deep, long-running conspiracies; and historical rivalries.
12) You can always tell the major villains and henchmen from the goons because they pose, flex, make dramatic entries and exits, and talk a lot.
T13) he government doesn't even blink over the large number of black programs that have become borderline rogue operations—or have simply adopted their own agendas.
14) Tabloids, society pages, Coast to Coast AM, and urban myths are major sources of leads—those guys are always right.
15) No one thinks its odd that the heroes are walking around in sunglasses—day or night—and MIB suits.
16) Yes, that's right: "discombobulation pistol."
17) Red commie-scum, retro-nazis, alien conspirators, atomic horrors, ethnic masterminds, wuxia hordes, creepy bald egyptian dudes, historical personages, and mobsters are all prevalent players.
18) The one's with super-powers may be the heavies, but the supernormals are the ones you should be afraid of...
19) The mooks had a what?!
20) GM: "You do what?! No, wait. Are you really, really sure?!" = DIVE FOR COVER.
21) "Get me the President!" is code for "let's get ready to rumble."
22) It was reasonably safe until the big-showdown, but now the kid gloves are off... expect something totally zany and over-the-top.
23) Its the 1950's, but Coast to Coast AM, sunglasses, and a national super-spook team that look like an EOE recruiters dream-team elicit no comment—this despite the fact that one character can't vote in his home state (American Indian in New Mexico) and another isn't allowed to marry a Caucasian man in her home state (Chinese in California).
24) The Major GM PC who runs the agency you work for is chuff and trying to avoid you so that you'll go get to the bottom of things and grab all the glory without him! And sometimes he succeeds....
*Only one player actually knows what happened in any given campaign arc and he only knows because he bought the game-master pizza during a side-solo-game. Its always the same player—the one who didn't offer a theory—and his private guess is usually the closest of them all.
Signs your GM is now Gail Simone
1. She gets you to role-play out "girl talk"... and you end up ENJOYING it.
2. Out-of-game, she always makes aggravating teases about upcoming sessions.
3. She goes ballistic when you say the word "refrigerator".
Signs your GM is now William Moulton Marston
1. PCs seem to end up tied up a lot...
1a. ...ESPECIALLY the female ones.
Signs your GM is now Yoshiyuki Tomino
(Creator of Mobile Suit Gundam, among other things)
1. Much waxing philosophical about human destiny
2. Two words... teenage angst.
3. Three letters... T... P... K.
Signs your GM is now Bill Carone*
1) You don't want to take a "More Powerful" hunted.
2) No really, you don't
3) Prepare to reap the consequences of your actions
4) There are no stupid PC concepts
5) Humor should get you an xp bonus, but never does.
6) At least one Player v Player combat will happen. And it will be entertaining
7) Some of the most feared villains work for the government
8) Some of the most noble heroes work for the government
9) Golden Avenger does not appear in the elevator.
*my best friend and most often GM during our high school games. S'up Bill.
Signs your GM is now Hermit
1) At least half the female superheroines and villainesses wear fishnets.
2) At least half the female DNPCs will, either temporarily or permanently, become a superheroine or villainess.
3) You may have to threaten bodily harm to keep Foxbat from appearing less than once every three sessions.
4) Judging by how many mystic encounters your science hero has, and how many high tech encounters your mystic hero has, you may think your GM is a bit... confused.
5) There are way too many leggy redheaded females than are normal for the population.
6) Often in Fishnets.
7) Aliens WILL play a part, even if it doesn't make sense.
8) Some of your oddest requests maybe answered with 'roll Luck/Unluck' as a cop out.
9) Lines that make the GM snort soda out of his nose may earn you exp.
10) Unless you're making jokes about a villain he intended to ominous.
11) He's petty that way.
12) Did I mention the fishnets?
Signs your Champions GM is Bruce Campbell
1. All the NPCs are wiseacres who are faster on the draw with one liners than you.
2. They're devilishly good looking, to boot. Just ask them!
3. The innate power of a superhero is directly proportional the size of his chin.
4. Nothing ever goes like you think it will.
5. That's a good thing.
6. Somewhere down the line you end up having to hijack or destroy Sam Raimi's car.
7. If you find yourself in the back of a pickup early on a Sunday morning, driving through the morning mist through a small mountain town, and the people are just going into Church when they see you sitting in the back of the pickup covered in blood, just smile and wave. Smile and wave.
8. Hail to the King, baby.
Signs your GM is now David Gemmell
1) The story starts with your characters as preteens, if not before their actual birth. If the story instead starts when your characters are adults, they'll be in their forties or older, with twenty pages of character background for you to memorize and reference.
2) You can be sure that throw away lines in this adventure ("I disliked the story where the gods broke the siege", "Going into Hell to rescue a princess is the sort of thing you'd do") will be used as scenes or plot lines in the next campaign.
3) Most battle plans, and most battles, are lifted from history. Expect Thermopyle and The Alamo to happen again and again.
4) When cornered, attack.
5) Being a PC is no guarantee you won't be horribly mauled, tortured, raped, or killed. The purpose of such scenes will not be GM power tripping, but to allow your character to demonstrate heroism by coming back from utter defeat (even death, though in that case you'll probably only get to make a cameo).
6) The old man with the axe is a better fighter than you are. Just accept it.
7) Don't sell the angry pretty boy teen short either, especially if he has eyes of two different colors.
8) It may be the same basic story over and over, but it's a good story.