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Apr 28

40 Top Sites for Storytelling GMs

 

The internet is a wonderful resource for our hobby. It seems the whole of human knowledge is online, where any piece of information is only a search term away. Yet, the sheer volume of data is overwhelming. When a search lists over a million results, it is challenging to find exactly what we need. To help you with your searches, I posted 30 useful websites for storytelling GMs last year.

 

Read 30 Top Sites for Storytelling GMs here

 

I enjoyed creating this list so much, I wanted to revisit the process again this year. Along with updating, expanding and reorganizing my original list, I added a few more useful sites to the post. Once again, I split the list into categories, then organised the websites alphabetically within each category:

  • Books
  • Campaign Resources
  • Gamer Networks & Advice
  • Gaming Audio
  • Maps & GM kit
  • Myths & Legends
  • Storytelling

 

 

Books

Whether they are digital or physical, our hobby relies heavily upon books. We take inspiration from fiction and history, while the games themselves come in book form. The internet is both a great storehouse of old texts and a marketplace for new ones.

 

 

  • DriveThruRPG [affiliate link]
  • A huge marketplace for digital titles, with sister sites for comics and wargames. Titles include a wide range of RPGs, both indie and mainstream.

 

 

  • Internet History Sourcebooks Project
  • This collection of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts are presented for educational use. IHSP covers a broad range of ancient and medieval texts.

 

  • Project Gutenberg
  • Another massive source of free, copyright expired e-books. A superb source of cultural reference books.

 

Campaign Resources

Whatever your style of gaming, from the dedicated homebrewer to a devoted fan of a published campaign, you still need outside sources for ideas and material. Achieve faster prep by using online generators. When ideas run dry, search for inspiration online.

 

  • Chaotic Shiny
  • An amazing list of online generators, suitable for gaming or fiction writing.

 

  • Endless Blue
  • If your setting has an ocean, then you should visit this blog focused on what happens beneath the waves of a fantasy world.

 

  • Ennead Games
  • I have a regular gust post slot on this blog, but there is even more on this great site for the storyteller GM. Chris posts assorted generators on his site, as well as notes from his many books and news posts with links from around the internet.

 

  • History of English podcast
  • This detailed podcast series presents GMs with several useful strands of information. This history of the English language is full of information about linguistics, helping you populate your world with multiple languages. Each episode combines the development of English with a detailed look at the history of the period. Culture, historical events and colourful characters can all be lifted out and woven into your campaign.

 

 

 

  • Riddles.com
  • My Players love riddles, either as part of a trap, or an encounter. This site is full of riddles, although you may need to hunt a little to find one suitable for a fantasy setting.

 

 

 

 

Gamer Networks & Advice

Gaming is a social activity, and it is only natural for gamers to gather together online. Here are some great sites for connecting with other players, researching a game or finding advice.

 

  • EN World
  • RPG news and reviews, along with an extensive forum.

 

  • G+ GM
  • All manner of Google groups have sprung up around our hobby. This one is hosted by Johnn Four, of Roleplaying Tips. This is a great community for GMs, but you should also look for a group dedicated to your favourite game.

 

  • Gnome Stew
  • A rotating cast of GMs post essays almost daily. Excellent source for GM advice.

 

 

  • Roleplaying Tips
  • Home to Johnn Four’s Roleplaying Tips newsletter, a weekly email combining advice and reader’s tips. Also the current home to the RPG Blog Carnival.

 

 

  • UKRP
  • UK-based forum for gamers. I met one of my current Players through this site.

 

 

Gaming Audio

I love the utility of a podcast. It is like listening to a friend, whenever or wherever you want. There is a vast range of gaming podcasts to choose from, but here are my favourites.

 

  • Adventure Zone
  • This D&D actual play podcast is produced under the Maximum Fun umbrella. Adventure Zone is laugh-out-loud hilarious, full of zany characters. However, it is not safe for work.

 

  • BattleBards
  • A recent development in gaming is the addition of audio tracks to enhance story. An appropriate piece of music captures the mood of an encounter, and brings the game closer to the style of a film. Battle Bards have over 600 tracks for you to choose from.

 

  • Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff
  • This multi-award winning podcast sets the benchmark for gaming discussion. Leading designers and writers Kenneth Hite and Robin D Laws discuss gaming, story, occult, history and so much more. If you only listen to one gaming podcast, then make it this one.
  • Review of KARTAS

 

  • Misdirected Mark
  • This podcast was my find of the year. Lengthy discussions between Phil Vecchione and Chris Sniezak exploring advanced GM concepts. Usually long, scattered with profanity, always fascinating.

 

  • Plot Points
  • Another group-discussion RPG podcast. Led by Ben Riggs, the Plot Points podcasts provide detailed analysis of games and occasional interviews with designers. Their breakdown of scenarios should help you write better ones.

 

 

Maps & GM kit

These are the building blocks for a scenario, the tools the GM uses to create fun at the table.

 

 

  • Dice Shop Online
  • Gamers love dice, and this is the place to to go for an incredible range. Search by type, colour, finish or brand. Every dice is pictured and the website is simple to use.

 

  • Dyson’s Dodecahedron
  • Dyson creates the most visually appealing dungeon maps. Usually single-page, these maps are both beautiful and functional.

 

  • RPG Mapshare
  • Another site devoted to sharing gaming maps, this time with an emphasis on coloured maps and floor plans.

 

 

Myths & Legends

Humans have told stories for thousands of years. We draw upon these motifs and myths in our own games for even more story. Whether this is for building our setting, or preparing a scenario, storytelling GMs will find inspiration in these tales of the past.

 

  • Encyclopaedia Mythica
  • An encyclopaedia of mythology, folklore, and religion, covering a range of cultures.

 

  • Glorantha Wiki
  • No discussion of RPG mythology is complete without reference to Glorantha, the seminal example of the close link between mythology and culture.

 

  • Norse Mythology
  • Articles and interviews on myth and religion, by Dr Karl E H Seigfried. A broad-ranging blog, featuring north European culture and myth, with superb resources.

 

  • Saga Thing
  • Two academics put the Icelandic Sagas on trial, providing a lengthy summary and analysis. This accessible podcast brims full of plot hooks, amazing nicknames and fascinating characters.

 

 

 

Storytelling

Every game is a story, and every GM a storyteller. Advice on plot, character and theme are equally applicable to the GM as they are to a traditional writer.

 

  • KM Weiland
  • KM Weiland is dedicated to helping writers become authors. However, her short, chatty podcasts offer bite size snippets of advice to all storytellers.

 

  • Terrible Minds
  • This volatile, strong-minded blog is from Chuck Wendig, author of The Kick-Ass Writer. Chuck is entertaining, direct, and not always safe for work.

 

  • TV Tropes
  • A fascinating treasure-trove of tropes, from all types of modern media. If you are running a genre game, then this site is packed with details for you to weave into your game. The extensive references make this site an enthralling read.
  • Reviewed in a Reading Around post

 

  • Whimsy Dark
  • Another author blog, this one written by the fabulous Delilah Dawson. Whimsy Dark is full of support, encouragement and wisdom.

 

  • Writing Excuses
  • Another writers podcast, usually around 15 minutes long. The team of authors take you through the writing process step-by-step, providing insights into how to build great stories.

 

 

Conclusion

This second collection of links for storytelling GMs is longer and better organized. The first version proved popular, and I hope this one is equally useful for you. I added a few more of my favourites this year, so the list is better than ever.

 

What important sites have I missed? Is there anything here which does not deserve a place on the list? What are your favourite websites for adding story to your game? Share your thoughts with your fellow GMs in the comments below.

 

 

Happy Browsing

Phil

 

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