Archive for the ‘Combat’ Category

Cinematic Combat Part 3 – The Absence Of Mechanics

This entry is part 3 in the series Cinematic Combat

This entry is part 3 in the series Cinematic Combat Why should the pace of gameplay be held hostage by combat mechanics? Anything else we can take or leave – we can assume success on any skill roll and get straight to the results. But combat? No – not unless we hand victories to the […]

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Cinematic Combat Part 2 – Damage Mechanics

This entry is part 2 in the series Cinematic Combat

This entry is part 2 in the series Cinematic CombatWhile merging all the tactical and attack mechanics into a single die roll, as described in part one, can greatly speed combat, there’s no reason to stop there. The next part of the combat sequence involves doing damage and may also require recording any losses of […]

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Cinematic Combat Part 1 – Attack Mechanics

This entry is part 1 in the series Cinematic Combat

This entry is part 1 in the series Cinematic Combat On any number of occasions, I’ve referred to using a Cinematic combat style instead of the “full treatment”, but I’ve never gone into detail of how I go about that. I’ve explained why, but never how. (just in case, I’ll recap “why” as we go […]

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Compound Interruptions: Manipulating Pauses

This entry is part 4 in the series Further thoughts on Pacing

This entry is part 4 in the series Further thoughts on Pacing Sorry for the delay in posting this – my ISP is conducting maintenance of some sort, and my connection kept dropping out, making it hard to upload and format the article in the usual manner. Combinations So far, I’ve been looking at the […]

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Overprotective Tendencies: Handling Player Risk Aversion

It happens in virtually every campaign. The longer the game runs, the more overprotective of their characters the players become. They become more and more attached to the characters and more adverse to exposing them to serious risk. The GM, on the other hand, wants to continually raise the stakes and up the ante, in […]

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Status Interruptus: Types Of Pause

This entry is part 3 in the series Further thoughts on Pacing

This entry is part 3 in the series Further thoughts on PacingIn part one of this series, I demonstrated that a pause or interruption in play can be enormously beneficial, if used correctly. Last week’s article examined before-pause and after-pause content and found that these had to match in order to extract that benefit, and […]

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Anatomy Of An Interruption – Endpoints

This entry is part 2 in the series Further thoughts on Pacing

This entry is part 2 in the series Further thoughts on Pacing Having established in part one of this series that a pause or interruption to play or to the primary plot being deployed within the game can be more than a necessary inconvenience, it can be a tool whose manipulation by a savvy GM […]

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Pacing and the value of the Pause

This entry is part 1 in the series Further thoughts on Pacing

This entry is part 1 in the series Further thoughts on PacingDiscovering The Principles This was originally envisaged as one small and relatively quick article. It didn’t work out that way. Instead, this is the first part of three… I was watching a repeat of an old TV show the other week – one that […]

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Fogs, Clouds and Confusion: A Battlemap technique

Another filler post, I’m afraid – the next part of the New Beginnings series is turning out larger than I expected! I intended to get an early start on it yesterday, but thought of an article for later this week and started putting thoughts down on electronic “paper”, and totally lost track of time. Have […]

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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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Me, Myself, and Him: Combat and Characters in one-player games

This entry is part 1 in the series One Player Is Enough

This entry is part 1 in the series One Player Is Enough It’s been quite a while since I looked at the topic of the one-player campaign, also known as the solo campaign. The last time was back in May of 2010 in an Ask The GMs article, “Ask The GMs: How to GM solo […]

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Random Encounter Tables – my old-school way

This was originally intended to be part of my recent article, Pieces Of Everyday Randomness, but it quickly grew to dominate everything else in that article. So I’ve extracted, edited, and enhanced it into this stand-alone piece. Some people are really opposed to the concept of Random Encounter Tables, aka Wilderness encounters, aka Wandering Monster […]

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