Sunday, May 10, 2015

Review and Commentary On How To Game Master Like A F#$@ing Boss By Venger Satanis

  How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss


   I've been making my way through How to Game Master Like A F$%#ing Boss for the better part of a week. The book is part DM's Guide, part rpg self help course, part re-division OSR campaign kit, and all about notching up your game. Venger was very excited to get this slime covered child of old school/new school weirdness into my hands via email. And I have to say that its very well done. The sucker clocks in at over 124 pages filled with practical advice, lots of practical hands on material and a bunch of very non politically correct adult only artwork. This book isn't filled back to back with the gore of some of his earlier efforts but there is a lot of not safe for work material. And that's fine with me. The book is a step by step course from everything of working through accepting your role as DM, to preparing the adventure, design, anthology of examples of methods of campaign implantation to execution. Not surprisingly this is a pretty solid hands on step by step process broken down by Mr.Satanis in his rolling enthusiastic style. Yes there is an actual appreciation for old school gaming here and that energy translates into some hand holding but in actual fact a ton of practical advice. But is it good advice? Yes I actually do think that there's some real world advice here that goes about trying to speak to both the new DM and the beginner from the ground up. And that exactly what this book does takes the DM from start to finish to improve their skills.

But is it good advice? Yeah, I actually think that it is and this book provides the DM with all of the essential's over viewed including all of  the usual tropes and traditions associated with science fiction, swords and sorcery, science fantasy, and fantasy for no particular edition. Venger gives these tropes a structure and how they fit into adventures including how to use them during adventure design.  This is a slice across the jugular of the DM's throat for adventure design & placement of adventure elements. Again this is done in such a way to actually be useful to a DM. The advice is done in down to earth and no nonsense kinda way which characterizes the entire book. There isn't so much a lot of hand holding as 'here's what needs to be done' to improve your games and here's what worked for me.
The next chapter is a random cinematic DM's kit. Here we get page after page of random tables that give's a meat and potatoes cinematic approach to random adventure generation for adventure elements,  NPC's and their motivations, plus minions, and more. 
  And then we get random tables and I do mean useful random tables for adventure design everything from NPC motivations to character questions and much more. Secondary NPC motives on the fly and weirdness tables to add into your campaigns. And this book isn't simply a DM self help book its more like game neutral  system push for your campaigns as well. There are cult generation tables, NPC cult leader generation tables, whose going to be sacrificed, why are they going to be sacrificed. There's a whole 80's horror, VHS special aesthetics that runs through here. And it extends into a mother of a monster generator set of tables including appearance and weirdness. And a magic item mutation table as well. Cosmic horror generation tables and much more. Then the ubiquitous stupid gnome hat table and yes its pretty damn sweet as a table. Its the little things that I love. Unique NPC random encounter and generation tables as well. Faction and reaction tables and more. Ten ways to alter your purple consciousness table and more! And lots more. There's enough random table's material to generate at least twenty or more campaigns on the fly. Next we get a magical language that you can drop right into your campaigns for added effects and high strangeness. Viridian or the green tongue is a completely imaginary language that can be dropped right into your campaigns when you need a weird language with strange bits lurking in the background.

There is plenty of well done and well thought out artwork throughout the book. The pieces really do fit the material and Venger's weird 80's asthetic that flows throughout the book here. And then we get a bit more material and an afterward.
But is this book an essential book that I would reach for when designing an adventure or campaign? Yes I believe it is. There's a  foundation and course work that has gone into the first half of the rpg advice section of the  book and then a ton of useful campaign and adventure  bits that have gone into the second half of the book. This makes the whole product a win/win in my book.
Simply grab the book and add it right next to your DM's Guide to help get your campaign back into gear! Four out of five for this book. 

Note that this is an adult title with a bit of adult and mature content between the covers and this is something that readers should realize before getting into the book. 


  1. Thanks for the review, man. The first of many, I hope.

    Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Cheers pal! And it's well deserved praise. Thanks.


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