Jun 23

Reading Around: Play Dirty 2


Play Dirty 2Back in November of last year, I highlighted the Kickstarter for Play Dirty 2.


This project successfully funded by a decent margin, and John Wick has now delivered up another slice of superb GM advice. I finished reading the pdf of Play Dirty 2 over the weekend, and I wanted to share with you how excellent it was.


The pdf of Play Dirty 2 is 115 pages long. The text is divided into 11 Chapters, each with a quirky cartoon illustration. The layout is very clever, with dice rolls and keywords at the top or bottom of every page. This allows the physical book to work as a dice replacement, or a way of generating plots. A clever feature, but of more benefit to owners of the dead-tree version.


As part of my benefits package as a Backer, I also received an updated copy of the original Play Dirty. I read this first, and then the sequel. Both of these books are packed with inspirational advice for any GM wishing to run an engaging game. There is too much superb wisdom in these books to take in all at once.


I have previously reviewed the excellent Play Dirty.


John offers advice on making the Players care about your game, stealing ideas and ensuring character death really mean something. If you think this means John is removing all threat from the game, then you are sorely mistaken. One aspect of Playing Dirty is to take what the characters care about and threaten it with extreme harm in order to motivate the Players.


Play Dirty 2 concludes with an extended Chapter describing a game of Changeling John ran. This is an incredible campaign outline, and gives vivid examples of John’s GM lessons being put into practice. Every GM should read this to understand how to engage Players with a setting and a story.


These incredible books should be on the required reading list of every GM.


Happy Reading



The previous Reading Around was Slaine: A Simple Killing, the graphic novel by Pat Mills.


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