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I want to GM

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  • I want to GM

    Hi guys. Now that I've refreshed my memory of the game through Defiant's fab Domination, I fancy a go at GMing. I'm happy with the rules and have GMed the board game, but I need some help with the online bit and am looking for someone who has a bit of time to answer an endless barrage of questions (sounds good, huh?).

    1)Where do you get your maps from? Do you make them yourselfs?
    2)What mapping software do you use (I have Windows 98) or recommend?
    3)Is it ok to pinch and use maps from a site like "The Diplomatic Pouch"?
    4)Is Geocities the best place to host the game maps?
    5)Any other hints/tops/advice?

    That's all for now, although I'm sure there will be more later. Thanks a lot.
    "Life is like a bag of Revells - you're always searching for The Orange One"

  • #2
    Alright, Orange! We can always use another GM around here. I'll attempt to help out. It can be intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, it's not so bad.

    1) Maps can be found in various places, generally the Dip Pouch is the best resource. There you can finds numerous maps & rules to standard dip and variants.

    2) Mapping software varies as well. Several folks here us MS paint, which is probably included in you Windows 98 package. It's limited, but capable enough. I use Paint Shop Pro, which is a similar program,with more options, and maybe more accuracy. Powerpoint, and other graphics programs probably work equally well. The process I use is to find a web-based map (like those at the Dip Pouch or those in use here) and save it as a GIF file in my PSP directory. From there I can modify it as need be as the game goes on.

    3) I sure hope that it's okay! Many map and variant designers are only too happy to see their games played. Generally it's a reference source for this explicit purpose.

    4) Geocities is free. There are other places, but this one seems to work, although we do have the occasional glitch with them here and there. It's relatively easy to use. If you need help grab one of us on line and ask. I helped Defiant learn how to use it. And if I can teach a Pollock how to do it, I know we can get you up and running.

    5) Advice, GMing a game is a big committment in time. Maybe start out with a standard game, or at lease a small scale and uncomplicated variant. The global maps with 100+ supply centers are extremely time consuming, and take hours to adjudicate and update the map. And while they are fun, they will wear you out. Happy to chat on line with you, if you have more questions.


    • #3
      Thanks a lot for your help Ruffhaus. I will try playing about with some maps and getting a geocities site set up and see how I get on. I'm sure I'll have more questions then so, if you don't mind, I'll try and catch you online then. One more question now though - do you draw your own units or where do they come from? Thanks again
      "Life is like a bag of Revells - you're always searching for The Orange One"


      • #4
        If you ever do decide to run one of the large maps, I suggest only running one at a time...two if you've got someone else doing the map making for you. It's the maps that take the most amount of time for me.

        I also use PSP since you can find shareware versions of the program, and it's quite capable when dealing with Diplomacy Maps. It's the program I used to make Imperial and 20th Century...

        As for units. All of mine are homemade...with a little influence from random maps I've found on the web. As a suggestion, for large maps use simple and easy to distinguish icons. Check out the Dip 50 army and fleet icons for my latest attempts. You'll notice they're easy shapes to cut and paste...a real time saver when you're updating maps for games. If you're dealing with smaller maps the typical unit icons tend to be cannon and ships on background colors that match country colors. My earliest map attempts have these (look up some of the colonial & standard maps on Dip Pouch).

        Anyway, hope that helps out...
        "I kick a$$ for the Lord!"
        -- Father McGruder, Peter Jackson's _Dead Alive_


        • #5
          Some tips

          Do not do a lot of dip games at once. It can wear you down. I have done it before and it is very time consuming. The most dip games I've GMed at one time was 4. 2 Imperial, 1 20 century, and 1 1600. Another tip is to remind the players that their turns are due. Also always have a grace period when players do not turn in their moves.

          That is all the tips I can think of but there are more of course. If I can ever get more time and ICQ up and running again I could maybe say more about.