Isryn – Basics of GMing

So you’ve decided to try to run your own little game of Isryn with a few like-minded individuals you know. You have your rough map and your players have created their faction.

Now what?

The way this game is intended to be played is to be very rule-light and adaptable. That means a lot of improvisation.

Let me tell you how my own game started for me and my first player to give you an idea of what I mean.

Once my player had figured out his faction, its stats and population, he took a look at the area of map I had provided and chose a spot he’d like to settle on.

This is the map I have provided for new players.

He decided that he liked the thin area on the West coast and wanted to settle it on its South coast.

First I made him roll his very first two d20s. One was for the weather conditions, and the other for his seafaring. He rolled average and managed to travel a bit more South, where I revealed more coastline to him, what he saw from the shore in terms of vegetation and geology, and a few mountain peaks.

The new information revealed made him change his mind and he opted for a different spot to anchor in.

This player has an incredibly rich imagination and has DMed in the past so he’s not afraid to think wide and ask me what is possible, but for other players, your job as the GM will be of a guide, letting them know what they could. Don’t be afraid to give suggestions, but always give a few to show them how open the experience is.

His first order of business was to send his troops to climb a hill, and have half his population set up camp, and the other half go hunting and gathering.

I made him roll 2 separate Survival checks (one for the troops moving through the woods and the other for his foraging and one was an 18, so on his Kingdom sheet I permanently improved his Survival skill by one, representing his familiarity with the new territory.

We played a bit more through Discord but I mean for this to be a relaxed experience and I also don’t want him to get too far of other players, possibly discouraging them from taking part in the experience so I slowed down the pace.

First I implemented a 1-action-at-a-time rule (inspired by the Edict rule from Pathfinder) to make sure we don’t get lost in the complexity of simultaneous actions.

Then I made him roll for his first night on the new micro-continent. He rolled fairly high so nothing bad happened. He was rewarded with good weather and a clear sky.

Had he rolled low, well, that’s how you build the story. These rolls and consequences are totally up to you, the GM. One thing about my vision is that I simply see this as a beefed-up DnD. Had he rolled a 1, maybe a monster would have set on the new camp. Unjust, maybe? Well, the rolls decide so in a way the GM is absolved of any wrong-doings (as long as you keep things fair).

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions. I don’t want to reveal too much information because of the For of War rule.

This also inspired me to make a few different Inkarnate maps, which are already beefing up my world and helping me make maps in ways that I had not foreseen in the past. All in all, great experience for a GM.

I hope this gets more traction before the end of the week and 1-2 other players join in.

Thanks for reading!

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