Archive for the ‘Campaign Management’ Category

“I know what’s happening!” – Confirmation Bias and RPGs

I was watching a documentary the other week. (I know, it seems like I watch a lot of TV. I actually watch less than it might seem, but I’ve gotten a number of articles out of what TV I do watch.) Anyway, the subject in this case was the investigation of the crash of a […]

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Race To The Moon – a lesson in story structure

I was catching up on a Documentary series recently aired on Australian TV over the weekend just passed, called “The Sixties”. Each episode attempts to encapsulate one aspect of the singular decade of my birth, whether it be the Civil Rights Movement, the War in Vietnam, or – in this case – the Space Race. […]

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Shades Of Suspense Pt 1 – Eight Tips for Cliffhanger Finishes

Cliffhangers are a wonderful way to end a gaming session because they end play at a moment of high drama that leaves the players anxious to get back to the gaming table, and that tend to be fairly memorable because of the drama. You can think of them as milestones within the adventure. The primary […]

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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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Creating Partial NPCs To Speed Game Prep

How much character do you need? Or, to phrase it another way, how much character construction do you have to undertake in advance when creating an NPC? You could simply have a random character generator throw up something to avoid any character construction, but the results never seem to mesh properly with the situation in […]

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Ask The GMs: My table runneth over (too many players)

How do you GM when you have more players than you can handle?

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Prodigious Performances Provided In Due Course

Back in “Exceeding the Extraordinary: The Meaning Of Feats” (April 2012), I promised that a future article would discuss the approvals process for feats, prestige classes, etc, in my 3.x Fantasy campaigns…

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Writing to the limits of longevity

Every minute spent writing more than you need is time wasted. Write to your target longevity to boost efficiency while avoiding the traps that lurk in the dark for the unwary writer.

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Ask The GMs: The Passage Of Substantial Time

Last time around, James Senecal posed a double-question. Because it was the easier of the two, and I was flying solo, I chose the easier question for ATGMs #27. But now it’s time to bite the bullet… How can you have substantial time pass within a campaign? “If death is to have a consequence, if […]

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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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Ask The GMs: Fresh Meat In A Hurry

Ian Gray contributed to this article. Anniversaries have a way of reminding you of the promises on which you have yet to deliver, and so does the start of a New Year. “Ask The GMs” is one of the cornerstones of what got Campaign Mastery to it’s 5th anniversary. It’s now 2014 and for two […]

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Lessons from the Discworld of Terry Pratchett

There are a number of valuable lessons for any RPG that can be observed in the looking at how Terry Pratchett achieved the success of the Discworld series of novels. Introduce the Key Concepts Early In the first entry in the series, he introduced the Discworld itself, established its basic physical and conceptual parameters, and […]

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