The Location-In-Motion FAQ (New DMs, I recommend a look at it)

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Hey all,

As everyone knows  iserith and others has been championing  a fantastic style  of DMing known as Location-In-Motion, or simply LIM. Advice on it has been handed out on lots of threads recently, so I thought it might be a good idea to set up an FAQ, so wise DMs could check it out.
I'm no expert, but I think I have the idea down, feel free to criticize and suggest additions/deletions.   
Based on suggestions, i've attached links to some of the questions. Those are recent threads relating to that subject.
What is LIM?
       
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LIM is a style of DMing in which there is no predetermined plot. Rather, the heroes are dropped into a location with various dangers and factions, and everyone (including the DM) plays to find out what happens next!


How is LIM different than "sandboxing"?
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LIM differs from sandboxing in one major way. In sandboxing, the PCs are dropped into an environment, and start up trouble/ solve potential problems, etc. However, in LIM there are barbarians at the gate, so to speak ( or even inside them! :O). The PCs have enemies around, the setting is in't merely sitting there like  block of gelatin waiting for a prod (Hence the "in motion"). community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758... 

Why is LIM any better then another style, such as railroading?
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Short answer: Nothing. Playstyles are  determined by group preference. Railroading can be a perfectly fun style, it allows  epic and dramatic encounters to take place, with grand plots  arcing over the whole campaign. However, many  prefer a more fluid game, with  unplanned events.

How can I run an LIM game? 
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It may be a good idea to run a test game, to see what style your group  prefers. One important rule is DON'T PRE-PLAN THE PLOT.  It may seem easy to avoid, but the urge to throw  in a cool plot direction surfaces from time to time. It's probably a good idea to start off in a  dungeon of some sort, and from there just go where your layers lead you, rather than a more complicated location like a city.  A central part of LIM is the idea of dangers, the "bad guys" of the area. First off you might want to divide the area into wards, like sectors, and give a few keywords to describe each ward. It's very helpful to have a sheet of notes ready with details of the environment. Here's an excellent template to use.



Location-In-Motion 
Adventure Font _______________________________

Dangers


Danger: Name (Type)

Impulse: This is what the danger may try to do in any given situation.   For example, an evil army's impulse might be to conquer. It dosen't have to dictate specific action, but is more of a guideline for unexpected situations.       

Impending Doom: This is what might happen in the  case of a total victory for the danger. The aforementioned evil army's Impending Doom might be  conquest of the city of Habinathe,  sacrificing enemy priests in the name of Bane and converting the population into a slave workforce.

Grim Portents: These are little events you can toss out there in case the players are ignoring the danger. They show the party that the danger is still there, and ready to  kick some PC butt if they don't do something.   For example, an advance guard outpost of the city might fall to the evil army of Bane.


DM Actions: These are relatively simple actions that the danger might take, potentially in reaction to another stimulis. For example, the evil army could grow in numbers by conquest. They should be more  general, and less of a sign of approaching doom, then the Grim Portents.


Same thing again for any other dangers.



Description and Cast:
Give yourself a basic summary of what is going on, as well as descriptive keywords for some major players. i e.
General Tarrion (Hobgoblin Leader of the Holy Army of Bane) Cunning, Manipulative, Determined

  

Map key:

It's advisable to make a rough sketch of the location and its wards, as well as setting up some special locations like a small dungeon delve, and maybe a BBEG lair or some other set piece.


Monsters/NPCs
Straight from iserith:
"Stat blocks that are fairly generic for each danger plus a few random monsters to pull out." I haven't been using quotes for the others but this is the best (and simplest) description I could think of.   
  community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...                  
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758... 

That's it for now, although I have no doubt there will be additions to this.   
Mad props, so to speak, to iserith and others who have brought LIM to these boards. This template is straight from him, and all of the ideas as well.


 Here's where it all began, Dungeon World
www.dungeon-world.com/
book.dwgazetteer.com/




Here's a very helpful blog on LIM as well,
middleageddm.wordpress.com/

Related Topics 
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Alternate gols in combat vastly improve encounter balance, run time, and overall fun. Check out svendj's  guide on the subject!
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
Show
Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
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141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)
Looks great!

Perhaps it may be beneficial to list some links to the LIM threads (like the Writer's Block thread for example) where many people discussed what it is, in case those who have not been reading/people who stumble onto this want to examine things in further detail?
Looks great!

Perhaps it may be beneficial to list some links to the LIM threads (like the Writer's Block thread for example) where many people discussed what it is, in case those who have not been reading/people who stumble onto this want to examine things in further detail?



Good idea, I'll set that up.
"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
Show
Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
Show
141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)
It would be a little more work, but I suggest instead of having the links at the bottom, you have them next to their specific question, hyper linked to save space. I'd also suggest playing around with some various formats, such as the CharOp handbooks or maybe just the Complete Collection.

Good luck on keepng this up. I'm sure it's going to be a busy thing to update :D 
Looking good so far, thanks for working on it. Let me know what you need.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | The Art of Pacing (Series) | Improvisation Guide | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character
Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!
Check Out My D&D Next Playtest Campaign: The Next World

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

It would be a little more work, but I suggest instead of having the links at the bottom, you have them next to their specific question, hyper linked to save space. I'd also suggest playing around with some various formats, such as the CharOp handbooks or maybe just the Complete Collection.

Good luck on keepng this up. I'm sure it's going to be a busy thing to update :D 



That's a really good idea, I'm about to leave my house but I'll get on later and set that up/



@iserith Thanks  
"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
Show
Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
Show
141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)
Updated
"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
Show
Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
Show
141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)
I think a link to Dungeon World would be useful.
www.dungeon-world.com/
book.dwgazetteer.com/
I think a link to Dungeon World would be useful.
www.dungeon-world.com/
book.dwgazetteer.com/




Yup, it's official. I'm an idiot for not thinking of that. 
"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
Show
Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
Show
141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)
Maybe a section for "Related Topics." Then throw a link to Svendj's Alternate Goals FAQ in there?

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | The Art of Pacing (Series) | Improvisation Guide | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character
Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!
Check Out My D&D Next Playtest Campaign: The Next World

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Where's that thread? I've never seen it haha.
"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
Show
Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
Show
141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)
Where's that thread? I've never seen it haha.



It's in my sig - Comprehensive Guide to Alternate Goals in Combat.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | The Art of Pacing (Series) | Improvisation Guide | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character
Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!
Check Out My D&D Next Playtest Campaign: The Next World

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Wow, somehow I missed that thread.
"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
Show
Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
Show
141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)
Very useful thread as I am thinking about pulling something like this together for my next campaign (assuming I have time to run one). I'm thinking some sort of group-based 'Hunger Game/Battle Royale' where you are pitted against a number of groups of npcs on some faraway island. Add in a little 'Lost' to find some interesting tidbits about the island, and voila!

I will no doubt be checking back from time-to-time if things do get running!
Very useful thread as I am thinking about pulling something like this together for my next campaign (assuming I have time to run one). I'm thinking some sort of group-based 'Hunger Game/Battle Royale' where you are pitted against a number of groups of npcs on some faraway island. Add in a little 'Lost' to find some interesting tidbits about the island, and voila!

I will no doubt be checking back from time-to-time if things do get running!



That sounds like a cool campaign.


EDIT: Nevermind, I get what you mean. I was tired when I read that, don't judge. Good luck, hope the campaign goes well!
"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
Show
Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
Show
141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)
Very useful thread as I am thinking about pulling something like this together for my next campaign (assuming I have time to run one). I'm thinking some sort of group-based 'Hunger Game/Battle Royale' where you are pitted against a number of groups of npcs on some faraway island. Add in a little 'Lost' to find some interesting tidbits about the island, and voila!

I will no doubt be checking back from time-to-time if things do get running!



Cool, happy to collaborate. Imagine these cool "moves" to help you come up with neat stuff the island does on the fly:

DM Actions for "The Cursed Island"
• Vomit forth a lesser monster
• Spread to an adjacent place
• Draw the attention of a curious party
• Grow in intensity or depth
• Leave a lingering effect on an inhabitant or visitor
• Hide something from sight
• Offer power
• Dampen magic or increase its effects
• Confuse or obfuscate truth or direction
• Corrupt a natural law


 

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | The Art of Pacing (Series) | Improvisation Guide | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character
Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!
Check Out My D&D Next Playtest Campaign: The Next World

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Very useful thread as I am thinking about pulling something like this together for my next campaign (assuming I have time to run one). I'm thinking some sort of group-based 'Hunger Game/Battle Royale' where you are pitted against a number of groups of npcs on some faraway island. Add in a little 'Lost' to find some interesting tidbits about the island, and voila!

I will no doubt be checking back from time-to-time if things do get running!



Cool, happy to collaborate. Imagine these cool "moves" to help you come up with neat stuff the island does on the fly:

DM Actions for "The Cursed Island"
• Vomit forth a lesser monster
• Spread to an adjacent place
• Draw the attention of a curious party
• Grow in intensity or depth
• Leave a lingering effect on an inhabitant or visitor
• Hide something from sight
• Offer power
• Dampen magic or increase its effects
• Confuse or obfuscate truth or direction
• Corrupt a natural law


 




I cant help myself...

If you run this bring a big walking stick or a cane to each session.  Leave it next to you, never touch it or look at it.  If someone asks about it just say it’s important to the story.  When the campaign is over hand it to one of the players and whisper. "What a twist." And walk away.
Very cool thread!  I like what is presented here.

As I mentioned on another thread, I used a similar style in 2e, but couldn't get it to work in 3e.

The main issues was build reconciliation, game balance in the power heavy 3e system and rules lawyering.  Any ideas how to mitigate these issues inorder to allow the LIm style to flourish in such an environment?
I'm not very familiar with 3e's ruleset, but if you have any specific examples of rules conflicting with LIM, I can try to help.
"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
Show
Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
Show
141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)
@ Kishri: Happy to collaborate in another thread if you want to get it going. I actually think LIM goes back to the origins of the game, only it didn't have the name. I started in 2e too. I think it stunted by growth tbh...

I think LIM design is 100% edition neutral. I'd be really curious to test that with you. 

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | The Art of Pacing (Series) | Improvisation Guide | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character
Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!
Check Out My D&D Next Playtest Campaign: The Next World

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith