Archive for the ‘Ask the GMs’ Category

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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Ask The GMs: Some Arcane Assembly Required – Pt 1: The Sales Pitch

This entry is part 1 in the series Some Arcane Assembly Required

Material Components don’t have to be a dirty word. They can be a rich source of color, flavor, and adventure even while avoiding the excessive paperwork.

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Ask The GMs: Buzz and Background

Excitement. Buzz. Anticipation. Enthusiasm. How best to create these for a new campaign? This question comes from BlueNinja, who wrote: “I have an idea for a campaign, that follows off the plot of a popular CRPG [Computer RPG — Mike] (set a few centuries later, of course, so that the PCs don’t have to compete […]

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Ask The GM: Seasoning The Stew (making races feel distinctive)

Today’s question comes from all the way back in June 2010 – I’m sorry it’s taken so long to answer it! The question comes from Brett, who wrote: “I am an extremely new DM, but I have played for 7 years now. I am looking to put my players in conflict with Drow. At one […]

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