GM Notes 1: The Headmaster Ritual

This series is meant to be a companion to the podcasts we release. They will likely not all be as long as this post and will probably normally come out shortly after the last episode. However, I have a lot to say about The Headmaster Ritual and have decided to do a preemptive strike on our GM Notes sections. 

Episode one available here.

The Headmaster Ritual game we played was inspired when Chris received a copy of “The Dresden Files” RPG as a gift. He brought it to a game night and handed it to me, asking if I had any ideas or inclination to run a game with the book.

I’ve never read the books that the game was based on, but the cover art and the idea of urban fantasy did remind me about another series that Andrew and I were trading library copies back and forth between us – the classic 1980’s run of Hellblazer that spun out of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing.

constantineaI knew immediately that I wanted to do a Hellblazer/Vertigo inspired game, but it took awhile before the narrative hook I needed occurred to me. Hellblazer, set in 1980’s England, resonates nicely with the working class motifs in the early work of my favorite band – The Smiths.

The pun of the title came to me as soon as I knew they would be looking for Morrissey. Since it was meant to be a Vertigo comic, I laid the groundwork for a vast occult conspiracy a la comics like The Invisibles.

(Those familiar with that comic will realize that I borrowed some stuff from it for the main villains. My grateful apologies to Grant Morrison.)

Supplementary Materials

I will be releasing a second post going into more detail about the game – including the Google Doc I used to run the game. Look for this after the release of the final episode of The Headmaster Ritual.

As as additional bonus, I created a Spotify playlist for the first episode in order to set the tone. I have embedded it below.

If you’d like to tell me how badly I’ve abused your favorite things or even if you have a question, please find me on twitter @thewatermethod.