Skip to content

International GM’s Day / NASA has a TTRPG adventure!

  • by

Warning! Extreme nerdity ahead!

Today, March 4, is International GM’s Day. Coinciding with the death date of Gary Gygax, the co-founder of ‘the world’s greatest role-playing game’ Dungeons & Dragons, it is a day to celebrate the hardworking fools, er, individuals who sacrifice their time, energy, effort and creativity to crafting entire worlds, filled with adventures untold.

GMs, or Game Masters, are in charge of everything in a game session. They create a world, or spend the time reading through a prepared setting, so that the players, through their characters, can interact with that world and go on grand adventures. They handle the weather in the environment, the countries and cities, the history, the economy, all the NPCs (non-player characters) that the PCs (player characters) run into, the creatures and treasures ….

A GM might put years into developing a setting, detailing every nook and cranny of the world, so that if a player asks “Who’s the old dead guy with the sword through his skull?” the GM will have an answer.

Of course some GMs wing it, playing totally by the seat of their pants. They might start out with an idea of what they want (an adventure set in the swamps with alligator people, for instance) and make everything up as they go along.

It is the GM’s job to make sure everyone is having fun, and feels included. A good GM will end up having a memorable, exciting session with their players. When it all comes together and happens like that, the players will remember the game for years to come.

One thing is guaranteed, that no matter how much preparation a GM puts into creating and populating his world, and coming up with an epic adventure, the players will inevitably derail the game within five minutes of starting. The GM may plan out a quest, where the adventurers start as lowly nobodies, who travel, fight, loot, and advance their skills to the level of becoming near demi-gods, and the players will want to go duck hunting instead.

So, raise a toast to the hard-working, beleaguered GMs out there. They deserve a lot more respect and adulation than they get.

And in related news, NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) of all people, put out an adventure for TTRPGs! You can download it at their website. I’ve only briefly looked it over, but it looks fairly system-neutral (meaning you can run it using your favorite TTRPG rules).

The adventure focuses on the question – what would happen if the Hubble telescope disappeared? The players are adventurers who will track the missing telescope to the distant world of Exlaris. There they must find out what happened to the telescope, and recover it, along with some missing research scientists.

It should be playable as a one-shot in a few hours time, or possibly as a two-parter, if you’re short on time. It might even work as a convention module.

Why couldn’t they have been working on this back when I was working at NASA?

If you’d like to support my efforts, why not buy me a chocolate chip cookie through my Ko-Fi page?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *