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Play Dirty $5.00
Average Rating:4.3 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
5 5
6 1
2 0
0 1
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Play Dirty
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Play Dirty
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Oliver O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/25/2013 22:15:08
What was John Wick thinking?

Look, I watched a couple youtube videos that Mr. Wick put out - the first recommended to me in a John Four newsletter. And based on the video picked this PDF up.

I am intrigued by some of the concepts presented here, but am a little turned off by what I perceived to be a lack of humility about role-playing in general (in one video Wick wears a shirt that says: "I don't have an anger problem, I have an IDIOT problem!" - yeah, that guy...). I think that being a GM is partially about embracing the role of mentor such that role-playing continues to be a healthy part of our culture for decades to come - a tradition passed generation to generation, not unlike comic books. Mentoring requires patience and kindness, in my opinion.

I think that Mr. Wick has a bucket-load of intelligence, but comes up a bit short on the wisdom end of the spectrum (D&D taught me there is a good reason why these are two distinct stats, neither one dependent on the other). I got a sense that he was very passionate about gaming, but really didn't like/respect his fellow gamers that much. The one dude he described in a positive way was so completely humble, down-to-earth and selfless, that I have to wonder if he had allowed himself to be completely dominated by the situation/GM.

At any rate, once you get past the self-absorbed tone, you get some poignant anecdotes about Wick's gaming group that provide some solid amusement. That being said, I still contend that the number one reason gaming groups break up is because people get mad and frustrated with each other - I would never encourage a GM to fan the flames of discord unless he is trying to not have a gaming group.

In Wick's defense, I also think that allowing for a real sense of danger in your game is a great tool for immersion and getting the players to care about what is going on (Like in Game of Thrones, for example). I think that where I differ with Wick is that I believe in collaborating with the player more, rather than imposing myself on the game, or wounding the player for my own gratification. I don't think I could defend an act of cruelty as glibly as he does.

Bottom line - I say get the book! Join the discussion!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Play Dirty
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Andrew M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/21/2012 12:02:47
The advice is hit and miss - some of it is very helpful even to the most advanced GM, cutting straight to the essence of tabletop RPGs, while some of it is not particularly useful except in the most extreme cases where you might be better off just asking problem players not to return anyhow. However, where the book hits, it critically hits, and does so with a tone that can cure the most doormat-like of any GM. The book is also full of many entertaining stories from John Wick's own gaming table, which makes the book extremely easy reading and difficult to put down. I can't help but wish that I had the opportunity to have a character "Wick'ed", I think it would have been one of the best roleplaying experiences that one could have.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Play Dirty
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Robert S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/26/2012 18:50:36
Unfortunately I cannot agree with the other reviews. I found the topics in this book not new, not "dangerous" and not innovative. They are not bad either, but this book is not the best since sliced bred as so many say. I would rate it average and most of the advices are found in the GM chapter of every RPG.
Well, any except of (A)D&D as it seems as the author is talking about 50% the time about how to enhance your D&D game. Or Champions.

Anyway, not a bad product, but nothing new in it as well. So, what is he actually talking about? He starts the book with "I kill players". Now that's new ;) He continues "I hit them where it hurts" and starts talking about how to use players (Dis-)Advantages against them. If I remember right, a lot of RPG GM sections tell the GM how to do this.
The method he provides is nothing new and only a good campaign plot: a traitor in the midst. Yes, it works, yes it is fun, but is it THAT cool plot I never thought about? No.

Chapter 3 talks about how the players take roles of citizen (good or evil ones) to take the burden from the GM and create a living city. Nothing new as well, done many times, especially when one PC dies and that player would otherwise no longer participate actively in the game session.
Also, he gives hints how to use and interact with the environment. Hm. Well. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.

I could go on and dissect chapter for chapter, but it would just repeat itself.

Here is a preview of chapter one:
http://gamingoutpost.com/article/hit_em_where_it_hurts/<-
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Conclusion:
Well, to be frank, to me the book sounds like a 23 year old experienced cool GM ;) is telling the story of his life to 16 year old players. Maybe if you are new to the hobby or coming from a life-long tabletop-battlegame you will find something new in here. But if you have tried out 10+ RPG systems, I bet you'll find nothing new in here.

Rating:
So I'll give it 3 stars for content, but the price tag lowers it to 2.
If you want to print it, be prepared to invest into a lot of ink, as the chapter titles have a huge solid black background and the page borders consist of black&grey.
Because of this (there is no printer friendly version) I would lower the overall product rating to 1 - sorry, guys.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Play Dirty
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Chris B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/25/2011 12:15:37
A great read! Excellent ideas for the gm who is having trouble with "cheese-ey" players. Don't be the guy who runs the game be the game master who everyone loves to hate.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Play Dirty
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by david f. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/22/2010 08:03:46
GM advise can be very hit or miss and John Wick's stuff is the same. That being understood, this is one of the best reads I have had for some time. It is witty and clever, some of the advise you can even use. It has been a while since I read a book from cover to cover in one sitting and if I had not had a four year old to deal with, I would have. Excellent book, would recommend it to any referee that is feeling a bit jaded and needs a reboot as an essential read.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Play Dirty
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Michael B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/14/2010 10:29:27
Advice for GM's is like any suggestion: You can take it or leave it. So, buying a PDF of GM advice might be a tricky proposition: You won't know if its going to be useful until you've read it and thought about it, and then given yourself a chance to put it into practice.

I'd never read anything by John Wick until I bought a copy of Houses of the Blooded. At the end of that book, there's a fascinating chapter on GMing, one that goes beyond the standard boilerplate RPG designers. Based on that, I figured $5 was a safe bet on Play Dirty. And I wasn't wrong.

The essence of John's guidance is simple: There's more to the RPG experience than you might know from just reading the rulebook. Far more. John offers suggestions on ways to take what might just be an enjoyable evening of gaming into an experience that transcends dice rolls. Wick focuses on players and their characters, and how to manipulate both to create tense, emotional, memorable moments.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Play Dirty
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/12/2010 17:47:31
This is the best guide to GM'ing I have ever read. Ever.

Including advice and ideas, this will renovate your game mastering.

I'm not sure how much I could say without giving too much away (there's already a preview), or managing to look like an idiot, but I'll say this:

This is the most enjoyable read I've had this week. It is enlightening and also funny, with a mixture of good advice and anecdotes. It's worth the $5.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Displaying 1 to 7 (of 7 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
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