Actual Play – Big Bad GM 2013 (10/6/2013)

FateCoreBookCoverGM: Eric Zimmerman, Joe Harney, Ezra Denney, Bryan Hitchcock
Players: Tiffany Frederickson, Ray Massie, Dennis Baum, Mike McFarland, Cait Youngquist, Bryant Durrell, Joe O’Neil, Michael Garcia, David Zarubin, Shawn Endresen, Jason Walters, Steven Kaye, Ralph Wolterbeek, Vanessa Brannon, Paul Meyer, and Eric Lytle
Judges: Sean Nittner, Mike Bogan, Bruce Harlick, and Leonard Balsera
System: Fate Core and Fate Accelerated.

This was the big bad showdown of 2013. The event where four GMs are given three secret ingredients and tasked to run a game on the fly. They get no time for prep and all the game/character creation is done at the table.

Secret Ingredients

These were release just before the games began:

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Locations: Dark Woods
Antagonists: Greedy Capitalists

Here were our contestants:

BryanHitchcockBryan Hitchcock

High Concept: The Metal Friar
Trouble: So Many Games, So Little Time
Aspect: Six-string Troubadour

Your Adventure: One year at Dunrdacon in the 90s, one person showed up out of six who signed up for a Werewolf the Apocalypse game. An hour after start time, I finally managed to rustle up a full table. Some of them had never played a White Wolf game at all. But we managed to have a fun game, slay a Nexus Crawler and end it with a climactic duel between two of the PCs for leadership of the pack. Awesome game in spite of an awful beginning.

If you could be any one in any world: The Doctor, but the Metal Realms version. #13.

Eric ZimmermanEric Zimmerman

High Concept: Pop Culture Anthropologist
Trouble: Daddy Issues
Aspect: “…just rolled three negatives!”

Your Adventure: Wild Talents. In a Roman superheroes game, the final bad guys, essentially Germanic Gods, take a surprise shot at the PCs, but instead of fighting back, the PCs talked them into a parley. I had no idea what was going to happen. They wrestled with the moral dilemma of betraying Rome (especially the Emperor who can control them) because they could not disagree with all of the “enemy’s” complaints. It wasn’t until after it was over that I realized the game didn’t falter, but something amazing just happened.

If you could be any one in any world: The Great A’Tuin from Discworld

Joe Harney BBGMJoseph Harney

High Concept: Reenacting Renaissance Man
Trouble: Doesn’t deal well with Stupid
Aspect: Rules Jedi.

Your Adventure: There was the one time where Aphrodite stabbed the Earl King’s Daughter’s Gay White Court Vampire Husband in the heart with the Spear of Leonidas.  Does that count as going good or bad, or both?!?

If you could be any one in any world: Either a Dresden Shide Lord or a 40k Space Marine



EzraDenneyBBGMEzra Denney

High Concept: Paranoia Proselytizer
Trouble: There are other games besides Paranoia?
Aspect: Why are there plus signs on these dice?

Your Adventure: Is this where I tell you about my 20th level Kensai Evoker? Because he was pretty sweet…

If you could be any one in any world: Werner Herzog, or the Funbot 3000

The play is the thing

These four GMs ran some amazing games, and some of them had to work their asses off to do it. Bryan’s game self-identified as “were not a rom-com crowd.”

In the end, judging was really, really hard. Hard enough I’m not doing it again next year. We had several criteria:

Use of Ingredients (10 points)
System Mastery (5 points)
Pacing (5 points)
Player Enjoyment (5 points)

It was tough, the score we close. Close enough we almost awarded two winners. Bleh. It was hard

Big Bag GM Winner

After the judges debated, discussed, and drew swords, we settled on the 2013 Big Bad GM Champion:


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