Saturday, January 17, 2009

Planning A GM's Binder of Awesomeness

Inspired in part by this post at The RPG Corner and previous commentary at LotFP, I've been working on my GM's Binder of Awesomeness. I suspect it may differ in several regards from their examples (I somewhat breezily pull mechanics and source material from just about any RPG I darn well please, and make it fit, or cheerfully ignore where it doesn't), but that's ok. For those that do a GM binder, it isn't just compiling deadtree copies of your most-used gaming material, it's compiling a little autobiographical collection of you as a gamer and a GM--what moves you, what you use, what you love. I can see an affinity to how some people do a shadow box or a scrapbook--granted, the GM binder is to be used, and used hard, not just admired or treasured as a memento--every GM could make one, and every single one would be a little bit different. There's a neat sort of simple pleasure in that fact.

In any case, here's the tenative rundown of what my binder will contain by section. I'm going shopping for the perfect D-Ring binder tomorrow morning:


-Excerpts from Castles & Crusades Player's Handbook and Monsters & Treasure
-Castle Keeper Screen References
-House Rules
-Expanded Weapons Explanations and Identification
-Character & Reference Sheets
-Character Creation Cheat Sheet


-Epic Roleplaying Background Tables
-The Page of Three
-Talents & Flaws Excerpts from Rolemaster Character Law
-Summary sheet for all character attributes, skills, traits, and bonuses/penalties

Tables & Reference

-Poison/Herb List
-Various random tables, including those from Dark Quest Games
-Monsters & Treasure treasure type excerpt
-Adventure Games Publishing's Treasure Trove pdf(s?)
-Scans ofvarious tables from the HackMaster GM's Guide
-The Random Esoteric Creature Generator


-This basically includes the primer, timeline, and various articles for our homebrew world of Irrin

Spells and Magic

-Excerpts from the volumes of Encyclopedia Magica
-Additional various OGL spell sources


-Matt Finch's Quick Primer For Old School Gaming
-About a dozen articles from Jeff's Gameblog, Grognardia, Tankards & Broadswords, and several other great blogs
-Several articles from Fight On! (still deciding on these)

So there you have it. I expect this binder to have items added and removed (just like the house rules in our campaign) as my gaming experiences and tastes change. But for now, this is a collection of things that aren't only useful to my campaign, but also make me pretty happy.


Zachary The First said...

Quick note: Sorry to those who had issues posting comments on here. I don't have anything to do with the Captcha, but if you ever have issues posting comments, please drop me a line and let me know.

Johnn Four said...

Great post Zachary.

gleichman said...

I was just looking at that primer for old school gaming (

...I swear that is the same sales job I saw for 'Light Systems' in the 90s. By it, even 1st edition AD&D isn't old school.

Odd claim that.

The Yeti said...

GAH! Seems everyone's DM Binder of Cool Stuff is way more Cooler than mine, and also alot bigger and much more organized. Most of mine is taken up with empty graph paper and loose notebook paper for writing down and drawing out ideas. I really should redo mine and post pictures on my site. Thanks for the post and ideas for things I can include in mine.

(Also am I the only person to not own a D30)