Archive for the ‘Beginners’ Category

Morgalad In Reflection

I was recently invited to review the Morgalad Starter Book by John McNabb, available through DrivethruRPG. Publication of Morgalad is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign which, like the result, is an interesting mixture of flawed ambition and success. The initial attempt at funding Morgalad sought to raise $20,000 and was a dismal failure; […]

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Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Part 3: Preparations

This entry is part 3 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)

This entry is part 3 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)I’ve been asked a number of times what advice I have for a beginning GM. This 15-part series is an attempt to answer that question – while throwing in some tips and reminders of the basics for more experienced GMs. This will […]

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Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Pt 2: Creation

This entry is part 2 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)

This entry is part 2 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)I’ve been asked on more than one occasion what advice I would have for a beginning GM. It’s a question that troubled me; I’ve been GMing for so long that I thought I might have lost contact with the beginner. I have […]

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Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Pt I: Beginnings

This entry is part 1 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)

This entry is part 1 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)Introduction A little while back, I was asked by someone what advice I would have for someone’s first attempt at being a Gamesmaster. Now, that subject takes in an awful lot of ground, but when I sat down and thought about it, […]

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Pieces of Ordinary Randomness: Random Techniques Of Chance

The Twists haven’t stopped yet! This month’s Blog Carnival, hosted by Campaign Mastery, isn’t finished yet!. The subject is still “With A Twist” and it covers anything about Surprises, the Unexpected, etc. I started with an article on the rules interpretation of Surprise, and followed that with a two-part article looking at types of Plot […]

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The Thinking Man’s Guide to Intelligence for Players and GMs

A Message from the Writer/Publisher: As I write, a hostage situation continues to unfold in Sydney, as it has for almost 15 hours, capturing world attention for all the worst reasons. For those who may be concerned, I am completely fine. But I must share my contempt for those who have attempted to politicize events […]

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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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Seven Circles Of Hell – Creating Politics for an RPG

Politics is one of those inevitable conditions, like death and taxes, that every GM has to master to some extent because it will make its presence felt in every campaign. There’s always something more to say on the subject. In this article, I’m going to look at the basics of political relations between similarly-scaled entities; […]

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Things That Are Easy, Things That Are Hard

There are lots of things that are hard to do, or at least to do well. This article is about two of them, and a Kickstarter project that looks like a serious attempt to do both to a very high standard. Challenge The First The first is low-level adventures. Many GMs find these difficult to […]

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Vampire’s Creep and other stories: Working With Places

What’s the first thing you think about when considering a location in an RPG? There’s no one right answer to that question. A lot depends on why I’m thinking about that location at all. Location: a place for things to happen A location is not a simple thing to pin down. Let’s say that we’re […]

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The Heirarchy Of Deceipt: How and when to lie to your players

This irregular column resurrects lost blog posts about RPGs from Mike’s 2006-7 personal blog on Yahoo 360 and updates them with new relevance and perspective. One of the decisions every referee has to make is how much NOT to tell the players. To be blunt, the referee has to decide when to lie to his […]

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Two Emails and a ‘summon collective wisdom’ request

In the course of the last week, two different emails have been sent to Campaign Mastery that are going to form the core of today’s article. Since they are about as different as chalk and squid ink, the results might be more than usually schizophrenic, but I think it will all come together in the […]

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