Archive for the ‘Ask the GMs’ Category

Ask The GMs: Many Hands, Mild Insanity: Large Groups Revisited

As I explained the last time I looked at large groups, I have only limited experience in the area, so this was one topic for which I definitely wanted to source a broader opinion base. The question at hand: If you are “fortunate” enough to have a large group of players, which games could you […]

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Ask The GMs: Death Is Only The Beginning: Resurrection Penalties Examined

This is the fourth of these Ask-The-GMs that I’m tackling without recourse to my usual allies and fellow-GMs. The notion of resurrection penalties is almost as old as the notion of resurrection in RPGs. It’s fictional antecedents go back even further, into the inspiration sources used by the designers of the game in the first […]

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Ask The GMs: A Target With Warp Drive: Maps and Minis for Sci-Fi

This is the third of these Ask-The-GMs that I’m tackling without recourse to my usual allies and fellow-GMs. Battlemats, maps, and tiles all have a valuable role to play in creating game atmosphere and letting people get on with play. The old adage states that a picture is worth a thousand words; an appropriate terrain […]

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Ask The GMs: Iceberg Plotlines: Massive Plot Arcs in RPGs

This is the second of these Ask-The-GMs that I’m tackling without recourse to my usual allies and fellow-GMs. Today’s question is asks about something I’ve described using a number of different terms over the years. My current euphemism is “Iceberg Plots”, because 9/10ths (or more) of the plot doesn’t show in any given adventure. The […]

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Ask The GMs: Building on opportunity

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to get more of the ATGMs backlog dealt with – which has been the case for a few years now. Each year, I’ve done better at satisfying it, but not well enough. Things improved when I started asking the other GMs that I play with, but that also […]

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Ask The GMs: The GMs Help Network

GMs sometimes ask more than one question. Where these directly relate to each other, or the context is important to the answers, they are generally lumped together. When they aren’t, which is far less frequent an event, they get split up and answered separately. Which brings me to today’s topic: Writing characters out when players […]

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Ask The GMs: The Great Handouts Question

GMs sometimes ask more than one question. Where these directly relate to each other, or the context is important to the answers, they are generally lumped together. When they aren’t, which is far less frequent an event, they get split up and answered separately. Which brings me to today’s topic: Writing characters out when players […]

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Ask The GMs: Parting is such a frayed plot thread

GMs sometimes ask more than one question. Where these directly relate to each other, or the context is important to the answers, they are generally lumped together. When they aren’t, which is far less frequent an event, they get split up and answered separately. Which brings me to today’s topic: Writing characters out when players […]

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Ask The GMs: On Big Dungeons

How do you make Big Dungeons interesting? It’s not a simple proposition; very dependent on your source material, you may have to dig far deeper into what you have been presented with in order to achieve success. This question comes from Tom, who wrote: I DM a Pathfinder game, where the module is coming to […]

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Ask The GMs: Some Arcane Assembly Required – Pt 4: Cut At The Dotted Line

This entry is part 4 in the series Some Arcane Assembly Required

This entry is part 4 in the series Some Arcane Assembly Required I’m in the process of answering a question from GM Roy, who wrote: “I need some inspiration to create cool names for spell components. I have 5 [scales of rarity = Mike]: Common (flesh, breath, water, dust) Uncommon (earth from a cemetery, humanoid […]

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Ask The GMs: Some Arcane Assembly Required – Pt 3: Tab A into Slot B

This entry is part 3 in the series Some Arcane Assembly Required

This entry is part 3 in the series Some Arcane Assembly Required This question comes from GM Roy, who wrote: “I need some inspiration to create cool names for spell components. I have 5 [scales of rarity = Mike]: Common (flesh, breath, water, dust) Uncommon (earth from a cemetery, humanoid blood) Rare (head of a […]

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Ask The GMs: Some Arcane Assembly Required – Pt 2: Sourcing Parts

This entry is part 2 in the series Some Arcane Assembly Required

This entry is part 2 in the series Some Arcane Assembly Required This question comes from GM Roy, who wrote: “I need some inspiration to create cool names for spell components. I have 5 [scales of rarity = Mike]: Common (flesh, breath, water, dust) Uncommon (earth from a cemetery, humanoid blood) Rare (head of a […]

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