Archive for the ‘Ask the GMs’ Category

Patterns Of Distinction: Playing members of multiple factions

I don’t often get asked for help by another GM through the mailbox here at Campaign Mastery, mainly because the Ask-The-GMs service is suspended until I can get caught up. Nevertheless, I received just such a request the other day, and I thought the questions good ones, so here goes! Ronald wrote, How can I […]

Leave a Comment

Ask The GMs: When Undead Go Stale, Part 3

Having been delayed 8 hours by a massive spam attack last night (650+ spam in 6 hours – but the effectiveness of my response is clear, only 17 spam made it through my protections while writing this article), it’s back to business. The fact that this is appearing rather less than 8 hours after it […]

Comments (1)

Ask The GMs: When Undead Go Stale, Part 2

We’re part-way through a comprehensive answer to the question, both direct and implied, by Jesse Joseph. Last time out, I repeated the basic advice I would offer to anyone in his situation, and looked at ways to make low-level undead more respectable opponents so that GMs weren’t forced to use Undead Royalty just to have […]

Comments (1)

Ask The GMs: When Undead Go Stale, Part 1

There is something about “undead” that tantalize GMs and players. Maybe it’s because their very existence in a game world hints at fundamental questions about what life is. Every GM will, sooner or later, run an undead-dominant campaign or adventure arc. So it’s kind of a pain that so many of them suck in so […]

Comments (2)

Ask The GMs: Your Latest Bling – Questions About Equipment

A trio of questions that take me out of my comfort zone, because I don’t know the game system, and they are – to some extent – heavily system-related issues. But I had the advantage of being able to consult my fellow GMs on this one, and also had the luxury of being able to […]

Comments (2)

Ask The GMs: Shared Worlds and Co-GMs

There’s a whole spectrum of collaborative modes in existence these days, ranging from the cameo appearance or recurring pastiche all the way through cross-overs to the tightly-knit true shared creative spaces that are almost completely collaborative in nature. Although in literature, the Thieves’ World series is generally thought of as the first shared world that […]

Comments (4)

Ask The GMs – Up Hill and Down Dale: RPG Travel Laid Bare

Once again I’m daring to tackle a topic without the counsel of my friends and fellow GMs, largely because I had a clear answer in mind. Today’s question comes courtesy of Jason B, who asked, “Hey, I was about to start up a campaign that would ultimately take characters to all ends of the world. […]

Leave a Comment

ATGMs42: The Hollow Echo Part 2 – Musical Traps

This is (still) the fifth of these Ask-The-GMs that I’m tackling without recourse to my usual allies and fellow-GMs. Traps and puzzles are always a tricky problem for the GM. All too often they focus attention on one particular character and leave the rest sitting around doing nothing, possibly for what feels like an extraordinary […]

Leave a Comment

The Hollow Echo Part 1 – Adding Music To Your Game

Music can provide an iconic trigger that instantly transports the listener into an associated memory. Soundtracks and scores for Film and TV have long recognized this effect and played on it. You might not know it, but every major character in a movie or TV show has their own “theme”, a handful of notes, usually […]

Leave a Comment

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 […]

Comments (3)

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 […]

Leave a Comment

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 […]

Leave a Comment